Deluge causes flooding

By GAYLE COULTER State Journal Staff Writer Published:

About three inches of rain hit the Holmes Street area hard Monday morning along with some areas of West Frankfort.

Holmes Street near Collins and Meagher streets was shut down to through traffic from about 9 a.m. to a little after noon Monday, according to Bob Tillett, an assistant engineer for the city's Public Works Department.

"The reason we shut down was to keep people from driving through the water and causing waves to go into people's houses," said Mayor Bill May, who spent much of the morning touring areas with high water.

John Phillips, who lives at 351 Holmes St., waded through knee-deep water behind his house Monday and fished around in search of a drainage pipe he might unclog with the end of his umbrella.

"We're just a catch-basin for everybody," Phillips said. "We have a lot of old people down here who can't afford to have their basements pumped out every time it rains."

Phillips said his 72-year-old neighbor lives on Social Security and ends up having to pay $200 to a plumbing company each time there's a hard rain.

"It's just devastating to him," Phillips said. "This is the third time within a month this has happened here. This time, there's enough water where it runs across Holmes Street, and that's why it's getting all this attention."

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