Heavy rains already taking toll on farmers as waterways continue to rise

Flood advisories, watches and warnings remain in effect around Illinois, and at least one community has evacuated residents and businesses as a precaution.

The LaSalle County village of Utica ordered people to evacuate low-lying areas near the Illinois River. Some of the same areas experienced flooding in 2008 and 2013.

In Central and Southern Illinois, warnings remain in place for the Little Wabash River near Clay City, the Big Muddy River near Murphysboro and the Kaskaskia River at Vandalia.

Farmers in Illinois are struggling because the recent heavy rains are keeping them from fieldwork and preventing them from planting.

Monte and Susan Van Dyke, who live along the Effingham-Clay county line, say they will have to replant 300 acres of soybeans. Susan Van Dyke says areas of their fields are so flooded that they’re almost like little lakes, complete with geese swimming on them.

The Illinois state climatologist says the average statewide rainfall Tuesday of 3.9 inches was just shy of the historic average for all of June.

Heavy storms earlier this month also flooded farms with several inches of rain. The Kankakee River was closed Saturday because of flooding and remains off limits to boaters.

Forecasters and farmers expect it could take one to two weeks for fields to dry and rivers to recede.