As water recedes, residents around Horseshoe Lake assess damage - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

As water recedes, residents around Horseshoe Lake assess damage

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ALEXANDER COUNTY -- The Mississippi River is slowly returning to its banks, but it leaves behind a mess for residents to clean up.

From across the street, Buddy Warren sees water still standing in fields. The mud has stained the grass and dead wheat, which was close to harvest before the flood, shows how close the water came to Warren's home.

"There was water in one corner of the bedroom floor and a little bit of water come in my front door," explained Warren. "So I got by good with this flood. But who knows what the next one will be like."

When the Len Small Levee breached in January 2016, it sent four feet of water into Warren's home.

Friday, friends and neighbors helped unpack and put his furniture back on the floor.

"It'll make your hair turn gray," said Warren. "We're hunting for stuff now where we've piled it up on this scaffolding. These boys just come down now to help me try to get moved back in."

Down the street, water still rushes over the road and the large hole in the levee remains visible in the background. Other roads have large chunks of pavement washed away.

The Army Corp of Engineers still has no plans to rebuild the Len Small Levee, but contractors have worked to stabilize the area that breached.

"Trying to fill in some bank areas where some blowouts have been and put a little rock on the end of the levee where it blew out," explained Tim Bargery, a contractor working for the Army Corp of Engineers.

Warren plans to stay, but makes note that this flood was different because the water didn't rush through a breach, but instead slowly came up.

"Seeing how it went completely different than any other flood we've had. Places that flooded bad in other floods, there's wheat growing on them now," said Warren.

FEMA has bought out many of the homes in Miller City and Olive Branch.

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