Southwestern Illinois Levees
9:59 am
Thu January 6, 2011

Trial set in suit over southwestern Ill. levees

The case of three southwestern Illinois counties suing to block the U.S. government from declaring the region's levees functionally useless could be headed for trial in a federal court this spring.

A judge has scheduled the trial to begin April 16 in Benton on the lawsuit the counties filed in November over the mapping change that Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties say could saddle thousands of property owners with higher, unaffordable insurance rates.

The maps would show the area as a high-risk flood zone if the Federal Emergency Management Agency rescinds the accreditation of the 64 miles of earthen Mississippi River levees as planned.

FEMA believes those levees, more than half a century old, do not meet its minimum threshold for certification.