Harrisburg flooding threatens businesses - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Harrisburg flooding threatens businesses

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WSIL -- Over six inches of rain fell in Harrisburg this weekend, and water levels around the town are still rising even as the rain has ceased. That water is now threatening many businesses in town.

Mayor John McPeek said Taco Bell and Walmart were closing on Sunday night because of flooding concerns.

Earlier in the day, the city sprang to action as dozens of volunteers gathered to fill sandbags just in case floodwaters get much higher.

"We're trying to save businesses, streets, and homes.  And our mayor, city engineer, our fire chief  is out looking to see where they're needed," said Beth Montford, public safety commissioner. "We posted it and it's been a wonderful turnout.  We're fortunately we live in a community that everyone is here to pull."

Among city workers and firefighters, many of those giving their time were Harrisburg High School students, like Jordan Bartok, who plays football for the Bulldogs.

"We have about 15-20 guys out here that are helping.  Some of us are here, some of us are in town, filling up all the spots needing to be filled up so businesses don't flood," said Jordan Bartok. 

The group has already sandbagged businesses such as O'Reilly's and The Medicine Shoppe, and they remain concerned with another place in Harrisburg.

"We're looking at Brookstone, we've sent some men to look at Brookstone the assisted living, to make sure everything is going to be okay," said Mike Weirauch, the city's public property commissioner.

Truckloads of sandbags made their way to Brookstones where more volunteers were there to unload those sandbags, placing them at the steps of each unit to help prevent water from entering the building.

Harrisburg Volleyball player, Karrigan Bush, jumped at the chance to help out.

"It was us sitting at my house and she said they need volunteers, so we hopped right up and came on," said Bush.

"Packing sandbags in front of the doors, and packing them higher in case we get more rain tonight."

The volunteers say it is a small thing to help out, but to those they are helped, it is much bigger.

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