Threat of levee break forces evacuations in Port Byron
High water and fear of a break in the levee on the Rock River forced residents to evacuate Falcon Farms in Port Byron, Illinois.
Emergency responders were sent to Falcon Farms Mobile Home Park near the intersection of Old Route 2 and 214th Street North just before 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, 2013. Emergency dispatchers fielded reports that the levee along the Rock River had broken near there.
Firefighters said the levee had not broken, but they believed a break was likely to happen.
“If it breaks, anything that gets in it’s way — it’s gonna take it right with it. It ain’t gonna slow down…. It’s gonna take some of these trailers, move some of the cars. People are gonna be swept right up,” said firefighters as they went door-to-door Monday.
Emergency workers from Port Byron, Rapids City, Hillsdale, Cordova and Rock Island County were sent to assist with voluntary community evacuations. Residents were being advised to leave the 50 or so homes in the back half of Falcon Farms.
Residents like the VanWinkles have called Falcon Farms home for more than two decades and said they’ve never seen flood waters this high.
“Never at this magnitude. It’s overwhelming. I feel sorry for the ones really down at the end where they have gotten the blunt of it,” said VanWinkle.
The location is just north and east of the intersection of interstates 80 and 88.