Thursday, Jan. 13


Weather keeping everyone busy

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[JAN. 13, 2005]  The weather is what's on most everyone's mind today. With record, balmy, upper 60 degree temperatures one day; heavy rains, bold lightning and thunder throughout the night; and a solid coating of sleet cloaked with snow by midmorning the next day -- we've got something to talk about.

Flooding is the pivotal focus currently. Motorists should exercise extreme caution. Many county secondary roads are in the process of being closed, ESDA director Dan Fulscher reported at 11:40 a.m. today (Thursday).

Fields are flooding the roads. Causeways are filled to brimming. Creeks and rivers are out of their banks.

Emergency crews are keeping a close watch on areas prone to flooding from local creeks and rivers. No evacuations have been issued yet, but Salt Creek, closest watched, is not expected to crest for three to four days yet.

The Sangamon River also influences towns as far into Logan County as Waynesville, since Kickapoo Creek flows into Salt Creek and Salt Creek into the Sangamon River. When Salt Creek back-flows, Lincoln Lakes can flood, and Lawndale, being the lowest point, can flood, as well as Waynesville.

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Salt Creek is close to a record crest at Greenview now. Crews are at Lawndale watching a couple of homes.

The dam at Clinton Lake is also on the watch list. If water starts flowing over the dam, it will complicate matters.

The only major possible damage that farmers currently face is that if floodwaters freeze and then recede, the ice may bring down fences, Fulscher said.

There are numerous reports of residents mopping up or baling their homes. This morning's county finance meeting saw one member in late due to his roof flooding and another member leave early to bale his basement. Hardware stores are said to be having a run on sump pumps.

[Jan Youngquist]

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