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Flooding a “dress rehearsal for the main event”

Monday, Mar 18, 2019

* Major flooding in Freeport

“We have people standing by to help,” [Freeport City Manager Lowell Crow] said. “We expect the river to possibly rise to a record level or at least to a level we haven’t seen in 50 years.” […]

The Pecatonica River in Freeport inched closer to major flood stage at 16 feet Saturday evening. The National Weather Service predicts the river will rise another foot by Monday evening or early Tuesday.

The Pecatonica River near Shirland has reached major flood stage and is expected to rise another foot before cresting Monday or Tuesday.

Numerous streets in Freeport and Stephenson County are closed because of flooding, Stephenson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Backus said.

* Same in the Rockford area

Have your “go bag” packed and be ready to evacuate your residence if necessary.

That was the advice from village, county and state officials who gathered Sunday afternoon at the Village Hall to give an update on flooding along the Rock River.

“You might want to have a plan to evacuate and leave,” Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said of residents in low-lying areas. “If you see water on the road, turn around. Don’t drown. Do not try to wade through the water.” […]

“The rain event of last Wednesday combined with snow melt has caused the Rock River within Winnebago County to rise to historic levels,” he said. “The river is currently 14.3 feet at the Latham (Park) gauge. It is predicted to crest on Tuesday at 14.5 feet. Initial damage assessment indicate hundreds of homes throughout Winnebago County have been impacted and numerous roads are under water and impassable.”

The list of road closures is here.

* And it will apparently get worse

Farther east, the Mississippi River saw moderate flooding in Illinois from Rock Island south to Gladstone. Meteorologist Brian Pierce with the National Weather Service’s Quad Cities office in Davenport, Iowa, said flooding on the Mississippi could get worse in a few weeks as more snow melts in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“What we’re having now is the dress rehearsal for the main event that’s going to happen in early April,” he said of the flooding on the Mississippi.

* Related…

* Record Flooding in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois Follows Snowmelt, Bomb Cyclone: Over 40 locations set new record river levels, mainly in Nebraska and Iowa.

* Illinois border county says Wisconsin is downplaying the potential flood impact from Foxconn

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - Honeybear - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 12:41 pm:

    Oh that’s bad……real bad


  2. - leaving illinois - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 12:53 pm:

    Oh no! Another reason to leave Illinois???


  3. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    Don’t forget downstate. The Ohio River hasn’t crested yet at Cairo or Metropolis. Expected to keep rising until Tuesday night sometime.


  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    Note to Pritzker: Get the Guard ready to go. Don’t be indifferent and shamed into it by the TV cameras like Rauner was in Lake and McHenry counties.


  5. - NeveroddoreveN - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    @wordslinger, historically governors have feared bringing in the guard because of how expensive they are to mobilize. However since a former Adj General is directing IEMA, I’m guessing your suggestion may bear fruit.

    Interesting Note: Rauner did not have a Major Disaster Declaration during his tenure. I can’t recall the last time that has happened to a Governor in Illinois, but it’s certainly been a long long time.


  6. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    River gauges and flood forecasts are here: https://water.weather.gov/ahps/


  7. - flood fighter - Monday, Mar 18, 19 @ 9:52 pm:

    This is one area that Illinois has excelled at. Paul Osman at the IDNR has been in charge of enforcing the NFIP rules in the State for about 30 years. He has the locals working with him and following the rules. The results are that new structures are not being built in harm’s way. Something like 1% of the structures that flood in Illinois have been built in the last 30 years. This is the best in the nation; some states are at 40% plus. Combined with the floodplain buyouts, we don’t get near the flooding damage we got in the past. The buyouts wouldn’t work if we didn’t keep new houses from being built where it floods.


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