Peoria prepares for riverfront flooding

By Beau Ebenezer

April 19, 2013 Updated Apr 19, 2013 at 9:20 PM CDT

PEORIA Ill -- As of late Friday afternoon the Riverfront levels were at 22 1/2 feet.

The city began closing off most of Water Street with barricades throughout the day while workers continuously sand-bagged the area.

"We're going to have to keep an eye on it and watch," said Peoria City Manager, Patrick Urich. "We are hopeful that the Jersey barriers and the sand bags are going to help to keep the water out. It's really a function of the water levels and where they are going to be moving forward."

Due to businesses being built on elevated levels, city officials are not requiring businesses to evacuate.

However, some business owners on the riverfront are taking extra precautions.

"We are going to go ahead and move all of our inventory out," said owner of Fiber Universe, Erin Strehlo. "We taking out all of our furniture and all of our shelving. Basically,\ we are going to empty the entire store. If there is water damage, it's not to these things, so when it gets cleaned up we can move right back in."

The predicted level for the crest is 30 feet on Tuesday morning which will break the 28.8 foot record in 1943.

City officials said they expect see at least 4 feet of water in the Riverfront Village parking lot and one foot covering Water Street by Tuesday.

Riverfront parking lots are being closed at 6 pm Friday night.

Officials said vehicles will be towed if they are not moved on time.

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