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Public Works crews are working around the clock to protect sand wall

The flooding continues to impact us here locally. In Peoria, monitoring the Illinois River is a 24-7 operation for crews.

Wednesday crews shared some of the challenges they face as they try to maintain a perimeter around the River Station building on Peoria’s Riverfront.

They want to make sure the wall they spent days building keeps standing. It has been a lot of sweat and labor the past week, as crews have filled up thousands of little sand bags to help protect the area.

One crew member, Alonzo Young, has been running pumps to keep water out.

“We have to move the hose back and forth to get the water to drain from out of the inside of that surface, where the water is still inside that trench. When that water starting shooting in a little bit I was thinking, ‘I hope this wall is going to hold,”” said Young.

While crews do not think the wall will collapse, they are taking precaution by sealing up any small leaks they find with hand-filled sand bags. Any time you put up a wall, holding back water, leaks are bound to happen.

“When sand bags start to get wet, they shift a little bit and things move around a little bit so we are always monitoring the wall to make sure we don’t have any major problems,” said City Engineer with Peoria Public Works, Bill Lewis.

If you have been to the Riverfront, you may notice three different types of sand bags. Crews said they all serve the same purpose.

“On top of that we will use hand-held filled sand bags to give us a little more elevation,” said Lewis.

While some of the sand is put in by machine, the little sand bags were filled by hand–thousands of them–and they are constantly making more.

Even though water levels are going down, crews said the clean up process will take weeks.
Some businesses along the Riverfront should be open by Friday.


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