Grand Tower estimates $500,000 in flooding damage - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Grand Tower estimates $500,000 in flooding damage

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GRAND TOWER (WSIL) -- Grand Tower has had its fair share of problems over the past six weeks, mostly taking place along Front Street. 

It started in mid-May with a sinkhole that continues to grow. Most recently, a chunk of the sinkhole collapsed three feet and began to crack even farther into the street. Just a few feet away, two more sinkholes developed. 

Fire Chief Dennis Wright says the cause of one is unknown it as this time, but he has a good idea of what it could be, "Once in a while, you'll see it bubble, so it's possible that seep water done it."

The other sinkhole has since been fixed and was caused by a water main break. 

Wright says the root of the problem is the Mississippi River staying above flood stage level for such a long period of time. When that happens, it creates pressure and shifts the ground. 

In addition to sinkholes, Grand Tower is dealing with storm drains leaking and caving in the ground. 

Wright says a section of the storm drains had been scheduled to be replaced but believes it's only a temporary fix, "You have to replace the whole thing or next flood, we'll have another place bad." 

Continued rainy conditions and rising seep water have also been a challenge. 

The fire chief says a sandbag levee had to be built to prevent seep water from spilling into the storm drain pump station. 

"If it cut into the levee, it would overwhelm these pumps," he explains. "Water would get into here and start backing up the town, and wouldn't have no storm drains."

Wright says the county and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) have been helpful, but he estimates it will cost at least $500,000 to fix the water, sewer, and drainage lines. 

The Fire Department has been maintaining records to submit to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency (IEMA and FEMA).

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