Red Cross ready to assist

    Bryan Soady, executive director for the American Red Cross in South Central Illinois, relayed a plan to assist the city in the event citizens were evacuated due to flooding at Wednesday’s meeting of the Beardstown Flood Prevention District.
    He said shelter trailers were on standby from the Red Cross  warehouse in St. Louis and could house 4,000 displaced persons. They also have sites in Jacksonville which can be used as standby shelters including the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, the YMCA and MacMurray College. They have contacted Lincoln Land Community College as an intake site. Soady said he believed the Red Cross could respond and be prepared within two hours once receiving the warning information.
    Gary Hamilton, public works director, reported that a berm was completed Wednesday to protect the city’s water treatment plant, a well site and auxiliary generator from possible floods. County workers and volunteers assisted in building the berm which was finished in a day and a half.
    Hamilton also warned of the health dangers when children are running or playing on flooded streets after heavy rains. He said those waters are a combination of rain and sanitary sewer waters.
    “People need to be aware they’re running through raw sewage,” he said as manhole lids come off. “It’s vital the community knows that it’s a sanitary and storm sewer.”
    A representative of the Cass County Health Department attended the meeting to offer assistance if needed.
    In other discussion, the levees appear to be holding, with some seepage, which is normal, according to reports from the commissioners.