US 51 is a ribbon in the middle of a bloated Kaskaskia River on the south side of Vandalia Monday afternoon. Photo by Tim Ferguson.
The level of the Kaskaskia River continues to fall while the level of water in Carlyle lake isn’t expected to crest until Saturday.
As a result of the falling levels on the Kaskaskia, U.S. 51 has been reopened between Shobonier and Vandalia. The river is currently 4 and a half feet above flood stage at Vandalia, down from ten feet over flood stage. The river is expected to fall below flood stage by Friday morning.
Meanwhile, the level of Carlyle Lake is continuing to rise and as of seven Tuesday morning was at 452.1 feet. That’s seven feet higher than last Friday when the lake was at normal winter pool. The lake is expected to rise another two feet to 454.0 feet before it crests on Saturday.
Corps officials say while some campgrounds, breakwaters, and township roads flood at the current water levels, serious problems don’t occur until the 455.0 level.
Water discharge levels will be increased to 10,000 cubic feet per second by Thursday to get rid of excess water.
The U.S. Army Corps continues to work closely with its partners the Carlyle Lake Association, Mid-Kaskaskia River Association, OKAW, Inc. and the Okaw River Basin Coalition to monitor the situation.