Strong thunderstorms with heavy rains moved through the region Saturday afternoon and evening. Rainfall amounts ranged from 1.85 inches here at the studios of WFIW/WOKZ, to as much as 3.7 inches of rain north of Wayne City falling in 30 minutes. Other rainfall amounts reported included three inches west of Fairfield, 2.2 inches in Cisne and 3.3 inches in Olney within 30 minutes. The National Weather Service said in Olney, water was reported 2.5 feet deep on Lucas Street just east of Illinois Route 130. Richland County was under a Flash Flood Warning for most of Saturday evening.
U.S. Route 45 at the Norfolk Southern Railroad Crossing on the south side of Fairfield will be closed starting Monday, weather permitting. Norfolk Southern workers will be rebuilding the crossing surface while Illinois Department of Transportation workers will be managing traffic control. A detour is planned utilizing city streets. The crossing is expected to be closed for five days.
The Edwards County Fair runs this week at the fairgrounds in Albion. Today will feature a Vesper Service starting at 7:30 p.m. Harness racing will be held Monday and Tuesday nights at 6. Wednesday night the Illinois Truck and Tractor Pull will be held starting at 6:30. Thursday is Family Fun Night, with a Pedal Pull at 5:30 and Pig Wrestling at 7. The fair runs through Saturday night, wrapping up with the Demolition Derby at 6:30.
The Fairfield City Council meets Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Items on the agenda include a time extension for the River Intake and Raw Water Pump Station being built east of Fairfield, and an agreement with the Wayne County Health Department to act as agents on behalf of the City Council. A Public Hearing will precede Tuesday’s regular meeting concerning appropriations.
The Citizens for Harmony Way Bridge committee has scheduled a meeting for this Wednesday evening at the Crossville Missionary Baptist Church at 507 State Street. The meeting is open to the public. A progress report from the eight-member committee will be shared, with a goal of eventually transferring ownership of the bridge to a public entity to make the bridge eligible for federal and state funds. The committee is made up of four Illinois and four Indiana volunteers.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state added 9000 private sector jobs in June, and that the unemployment rate climbed to 9.2 percent. IDES Director Jay Rowell said the unemployment rate was not surprising, given the volatility of the measurement and that the same summertime movement occurred in 2012 and 2011. The IDES also said volatility has been the hallmark of the current economic cycle.