Sunday, Mar 9, 2014
Royalton Flood Water Too Close for Comfort
ROYALTON -- Flooded roadways aren't the only concern during heavy rain events. Emergency officials say some homes are now in danger of flooding.
A Royalton woman is on the brink of going under for the second time in five years, and village leaders say there's not much they can do.
The home of Dolores Ross, 73, is now an island, but it's far from a vacation.
"It's only going to get worse," she exclaims. "It's not going to get any better."
Saturday morning, the flood water was up to her porch, and it's not the first time she's been in deep water. Ross says she had two feet of water in her house in March of 2008.
"It flooded me completely out," she explains. "Wiped out my carpets, wiped out everything."
Ross says the Red Cross was the only group to help her recover. They came in and worked to replace all her floors after she became ill.
"I kept passing out in the house because of the carpet and the mold."
Now that her entire yard is flooded, her dogs and cats have joined her on higher ground.
"This has to stop; it can't keep going. I can't keep getting flooded out every five years," Ross insists.
She believes the village is responsible for all the backwater. Her neighbors are in the same boat, one of whom isn't in good health.
"If she'd have had an accident this morning or an emergency this morning, she couldn't have got out. He couldn't have got her help," Ross explains. "She would have died."
Village workers tried to help by clearing the drain.
"We're opening up this ditch," says Mayor Charles Brandon. "It got clogged up from the leaves and branches, you know what I'm saying, that you can't get every day out of the ditches."
Mayor Brandon says flooding has been an issue in town for years. It started when the coal mine opened a nearby dam. He says he's been calling the state every three months trying to get help.
"When the state of Illinois comes and fixes this ditch and cleans it out, and puts in two withholding ponds, it will solve some of this problem," he explains.
Ross says it's been five years and the village should have no excuses for fixing the problem.
So for now, there's only one person she can rely on, "God's going to have to help us out of this."
Franklin County EMA Director Ryan Buckingham encourages any homeowner who is ever in danger of flooding to have an evacuation plan.
Wind: 0 MPH
Humidity: 93 %