PEORIA — As the Illinois River continues to recede, the focus is now on cleaning up what will likely be a big mess throughout the area.

It's going to be a long process as the rain this week, both in the Peoria area and north of here, has slowed the fall from the 28 foot crest on Monday. Late Wednesday, the river was at 27.2 feet, and that means the barricades, sandbags and debris will likely stick around for a while. But signs of change can be found.

In Downtown Peoria and in East Peoria, some roads are reopening. In the Rome area, some residents have begun to clean up.

Flooding has also brought with it a host of health concerns. Area health departments are putting out the word that those who rely on well water should be sure to test the water before they use it, especially if it had been inundated. To that end, the departments are providing "well water test kits and disinfection information free of charge to their county residents who have water wells that have been exposed to flood waters."

It's an easy guess why. River water, especially water that is flood water, isn't the cleanest.

"Flood waters carry contaminants such as parasites, bacteria and viruses from backed up septic systems and other sources," according to the health departments.

Test kits and  information are available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday at:

* Peoria City/County Health Department, 2116 N. Sheridan Road in Peoria.

* Tazewell County Health Department, 21306 Illinois Route 9 in Tremont.

* Spring Bay Fire Department, 1075 Spring Bay Road in East Peoria.

* Woodford County Health Department, 1831 S. Main St. in Eureka.

In Downtown Peoria, public works crews have reopened parts of the Liberty parking lot, located in the 300 block of Southwest Water Street. Access to the lot is only available from the south, near the Walnut Street intersection. People should avoid any areas that are blocked off due to water.

A message on the Riverfront Market's Facebook page noted its lot was still underwater.

". . . but the Market must go on! We have decided to move the RiverFront Market for the first two Saturdays of the season (May 18 and 25) to the Caterpillar parking lot at the corner of Water and Hamilton Streets," the post read. The market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon, the post said.

Upstream in the Rome area, the denizens of the 14000 block of River Beach Road monitored the flooding. Water topped the road, went into yards and into at least one home. The three-foot-high sea wall couldn't be seen Monday afternoon, but by Wednesday, the water had dropped enough to catch a glimpse of the top.

Barb Hoffman, who has lived there for about 20 years, said there is debris and other flotsam and jetsam all over the place. Branches, uprooted trees and other things that had floated down river when the water was high were left when the water receded.

"The wind this afternoon made for a bigger mess because it tossed stuff over the sea wall.  The road in front of us isn't flooded, but lots of trunks and branches (are left)," she said in an Facebook message.

In East Peoria, Conference Center Drive was reopened to traffic, but Mariner’s Way is still covered with flood water and is closed just past Jonah’s Seafood House. City officials there have asked that people stay off the levees. Additionally, the city says to avoid swimming in the river as the current is swift and there is debris.