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Town prepares for storm

GALESBURG – Residents were keeping a close eye on Tropical Depression Isaac Friday.

Galesburg saw gray clouds all day, but it never did rain there Friday afternoon. Late afternoon models show the town could get up to six inches of rain Saturday. That had residents checking out the sky.

“I want to know what’s going on outside,” store manager Dave Simpson said. “I want to be prepared. I want to know whether I’ll need to water my flowers or not.”

Simpson was keeping a close eye on the radar at work Friday. That’s because the storm was hitting St. Louis and southern Illinois.

“I keep refreshing it all the time,” Simpson said.

Knox County Emergency Management sent out a press release Friday telling people to “be aware of roads that are typically trouble spots.” Sometimes, the storm sewers in Galesburg can’t hold large amounts of rain all at once.

“It means we’ll probably have some of the roads in town flooded to some extent,” Galesburg Fire Chief Tom Simkins said. “The South Street underpass which is one of the main thoroughfares to get you to the southeast part of town can flood. Sometimes, we have to shut that down.”

The South Street underpass is at the South Street and Seminary Street intersection. It’s also just to the south of the Galesburg Amtrak station. It’s a block away from Simpson’s business and Collectors Firearms.

“If we get too much water too fast, the water will come up above these curbs,” Simpson said.

Even though his gun store could see fewer people tomorrow, his business will stay open. No stores in Galesburg are expected to close Saturday because of the rain.

“We’ll be here. We’ll be waiting for it,” Simpson said.

Simpson hopes the brunt of the storm heads east and hits Springfield. Knox County Emergency Management also said that the intersection Losey and West Street intersection could be a problem Saturday. People are told not to try driving on a street where the road is not visible.

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