CHESTER — Officials on Tuesday began transferring some inmates from a Southern Illinois prison to other locations because of flooding.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Nicole Wilson says the maximum security Menard Correctional Center near Chester has had "minor flooding" in some cells. The prison remains on lockdown and visits have been suspended. The road leading to the prison remains closed from flooding.

The facility houses nearly 3,700 inmates. State officials did not indicate how many inmates were forced to relocate.

Prison officials say they hope to avoid having to shut down the prison's water service but have ample bottled water and portable toilets on hand just in case.

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