Corps of Engineers Remove Runaway Barge from Illinois' Marseilles Dam

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Corps of Engineers Remove Runaway Barge from Illinois' Marseilles Dam
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Flooding in Illinois.

MARSEILLES, Ill. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began the process of removing barges lodged against a dam on the flooded Illinois River in Marseilles, a town of about 5,000 residents southwest of Chicago, on Tuesday afternoon.

The tug boat Dale A. Heller was heading down river on Thursday evening when swollen river currents forced the tow against the Marseilles Dam. Shortly after, the city declared a state of emergency and issued an evacuation order for a neighborhood directly upriver and adjacent to the dam.

Seven barges were reported loose above the dam with four of the barges sinking. Damage was reported on three of the dam's eight gates with the loss of operation not expected to add to flood conditions downstream.

Rain fell Wednesday and Thursday in record amounts in the area and upstream from the dam, flooding rivers in northern Illinois. Residents were offered a brief reprieve over the weekend with sunny skies and cool weather, but rain was again falling over the area on Tuesday.

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