Headlines for Sunday, June 28th

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the southern Illinois region into early this afternoon.  Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Paducah, KY expect several rounds of showers and thunderstorms to move through the area today and over the next few days, bringing the possibility of a few inches of rain in a short time to some areas.  At the studios of WFIW/WOKZ nearly an inch of rain fell overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning.  Currently no widespread severe weather is expected in the area.  Some “dirty rain” is also a possibility in some areas as the Sahara dust cloud continues to move north through the Midwest.

The Illinois Department of Public Health Saturday reported 786 cases of coronavirus in the state, along with 26 additional deaths.  The IDPH is reporting a total of 141,077 cases and 6873 deaths since the pandemic began.  Several states have seen a rise in the number of coronavirus cases over the past week.

Illinois State Police District 19 Commander, Captain Nathan Douglas, has announced the results of an Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol held in White County during the month of June.  A total of 16 safety belt citations were written and 18 total citations.  There were no child restraint citations issued and four total written warnings during the enforcement.  Motorists can expect increased patrols by area police later this week and next weekend as the Fourth of July holiday period approaches, with an emphasis on seat belt and other traffic laws, as well as those driving under the influence.

Reports say the Cave In Rock ferry in far-southern Illinois may stop operations permanently as early as this week, due to issues over contract negotiations for the next fiscal year, which starts this Wednesday, July 1st.  The ferry regularly carries many vehicles over the Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky daily.  According to reports, a cut in the transportation budget for the state of Kentucky due to coronavirus-related revenue shortfalls is leaving little room for further concessions.  The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet partners with the Illinois Department of Transportation to fund the ferry, with each paying half and Kentucky in charge of negotating the contract.

Area river stages this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 7.35 feet, a jump of nearly a foot and a half from Saturday morning’s reading.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 6.48 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 4.09 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.26 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 5.77 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  Most area rivers should rise this week with the rain that has already fallen and rainfall expected the next few days.