Rising water brings out the best in our communities

By Alyssa Donovan

April 21, 2013 Updated Apr 21, 2013 at 10:15 PM CDT

Along the rivers edge workers and community members are making every effort to keep the water at bay.

Peoria's riverfront is quickly being submerged by the water and becoming quite the sight for area residents.

As onlookers admired the rising river, city workers continued to prepare for what's to come.

City of Peoria Street Manager, David Haste says although the wall will hold most of the water back, there will be some seepage through the sandbags, but they are ready for it.

Haste said, "Right now we're setting up pumps we have a larger pump and some smaller pumps getting set up and we'll pump the water out as it comes in. And don't think that there will be a lot of water coming in or anything that we can't maintain but we're being prepared for anything that might happen."

The sandbags line Water Street from Liberty to Harrison.

Restaurants like Hooters and Kelleher's are not flooded and open for business.

Owner of Kelleher’s Pat Sullivan says his restaurant is nearly 8 feet higher than the River station but he's still doing what he can to help out the community.

Sullivan said, “We're helping our neighbors trying to keep them open and the city has been unbelievably proactive."

Even feeding the city workers while they were building up the sandbag wall.

Sullivan said, "We got some hot sandwiches and water for them. Everyone comes together during something like this."

Though there are fewer businesses across the river in East Peoria, about 40 volunteers got to work at the police department, making sandbags.

East Peoria’s Building and Public Property director, Robert Cole said, "Just for the community if we need sandbags for the businesses or city properties. Incase residents may need assistance."

And as water keeps rising, efforts to keep communities safe will increase too.

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