Illinois Flood, May 1943

Flood Conditions Vary in Illinois

Over Million Acres Inundated Survey Shows 80,000 Reported Homeless

Springfield, Ill., May, 21.-Flood waters from swollen streams continued their toll of towns and farmland in Central Illinois today as situations at some points neared more serious stages while at others high waters were reported to be reported to be receding.

State Agriculture Director HOWARD LEONARD estimated that upwards of one million acres of rich river bottom and poorly drained lands are inundated in Illinois and said that reports from widely scattered areas indicate approximately one-fourth of it is in wheat, oats and corn.

Most serious state situation appeared to be at Beardstown. There the Illinois River rose to 27.65 feet during the night to set an all time high. The previous high was 26.3 feet in 1926 then a concrete seawall was built to afford protection to 27.75 feet.

At Springfield, floodwaters from creeks and nearby Sangamon River receded and the threat of a contaminated water supply was reported averted. Residents, however, were warned to continue boiling drinking water as a “precautionary measure.”

Petersburg, where the worst flood in its history made 250 families homeless and then washed away two homes, reported a drop of four inches in the Sangamon River there. Thousands of acres of Menard County farmland were flooded when the levees broke near Petersburg.

At Meredocia the worst flood in its history was experienced. Several thousand acres of farm land were inundated when two levees broke near Chambersburg.

Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, IL 21 May 1943