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4/29/2013 4:31:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Embarras, Wabash rivers beginning slow fall
LAWRENCEVILLE - A flood warning remains in effect for Lawrence County residents in the Embarras River and Wabash River areas.

While both rivers have crested and are receding, according to the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, both will remain above flood stage for several more days.

There was some seepage and some water began to go over the Cross Levee, south of Billett where the Embarras flows into the Wabash, on Friday afternoon, however according to reports, the levees held, thanks to a lot of sandbagging.

"Those guys are amazing," Jess Angle, Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency coordinator, said early this morning. Angle said levee commissioners, firefighters and other volunteers have worked tirelessly to maintain the levees through lots of sandbagging.

Lawrence County Sheriff Russell Adams noted that extra patrols are being conducted on county roads in the flooded area.

The Wabash River at Westport/Vincennes reached a crest of 27.68 feet early Saturday afternoon. As of 6:45 a.m. today, the Wabash had fallen almost a foot to 26.97 feet.

National Weather Service personnel predict the Wabash will fall below its 16-foot flood stage during the afternoon hours of May 7.

The 27.68 feet was the third-highest crest on record at the Lincoln Memorial Bridge. National Weather Service records indicate that the highest crest was 29.33 feet on May 23, 1942 with the second highest being 29.04 feet on Jan. 18, 1950.

Saturday's high water mark was slightly higher than the two most recent floods, the 27.48 feet in 2011 and the 27.50 feet in 2008.

The Embarras River at the U.S. Business 50 bridge, just east of Lawrenceville, crested at 38.94 feet about 9 p.m. Saturday. As of 7 a.m. today, the latest reading reported by the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, the Embarras was at 38.26 feet and expected to dip below its 30-foot flood stage early Sunday morning.

Saturday evening's crest was the fifth highest since measurements began at the U.S. Business 50 bridge about 12 years ago.

The highest crest was 42.61 feet on June 10, 2008, with the second highest being 41.57 feet on May 15, 2002. Third was 40.82 feet on June 20, 2011 and fourth was 40.72 feet on Jan. 8, 2005.

Illinois Route 1 between Westport and Heathsville remains closed due to high water, as do several low-lying county roads in Eastern Lawrence County.

According to reports, State Road 154 in Sullivan County, Ind., between Graysville and Hutsonville, is also closed due to high water.

Residents are advised not to drive through flood water.


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