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Peoria Begins Dismantling Temporary Flood Barrier

Kristin McHugh/WCBU

The city of Peoria is dismantling part of the floodwall protecting historic River Station – but the weather forecast will determine when to fully dismantle. That’s according to Public Works Superintendent Sie Maroon.

 “We are removing that 4-foot wall on the front side,” he said. “Currently, we are going to leave the 6-foot wall bank that runs from the parking lot all the way on the river side – we’re going to leave that up until we reassess the first of next week, after we get this rain and see what the weather is going to look like going into next week.”

The National Weather Service in Lincoln is forecasting rain Thursday. Additional rain is forecast Monday. Maroon said he’s watching the 10-to-15 day forecast for areas north of Peoria.

“What they get up north really does impacts us – almost more than what we get, because our water tends to leave us right away and it will head south toward Beardstown, Havana, and those areas and then on down to the Mississippi. But, what we get out of the northern part of Illinois and southern part of Wisconsin and those areas up there has a pretty good impact on what happens with our water levels,” said Maroon.

Maroon said dismantling the flood wall’s front side allows River Station businesses to resume outdoor seating services Friday as the shelter-in-place order eases.

Crews began sandbagging the riverfront May 18 as heavy rain pushed the Illinois River to moderate flood stage. NWS models show last week’s crest was just shy of 28 feet. Peoria’s flood stage is 18 feet.

Maroon said wall removal is likely once the Illinois is the river is back in its banks, which is 22 feet.

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Kristin McHugh is an experienced radio journalist and nonprofit manager. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council.