Flooding

LaSalle Flooding Victims 'On Their Own' To Recover

Oct 10, 2019
LaSalle County Emergency Management Agency

There's been heavy flooding throughout northern Illinois in the past few months. State officials requested federal funding to help with flood relief efforts. Not all counties will get assistance. LaSalle County is looking to find alternative ways to assist those affected. Fred Moore is the deputy director of LaSalle’s Emergency Management Agency.

Iowa Flood Center / University of Iowa

Weather officials say the Mississippi River fell below flood stage in two southwestern Illinois cities for the first time in months.

The National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services says the river measured below flood stage in Alton and Grafton Friday. That's the first time since early March.

Governor J.B. Pritzker is calling in more reinforcements to help fight flooding.    

Governor J.B. Pritzker has called up roughly 200 guard soldiers as near record crests are predicted along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.   The soldiers are being deployed to perform duties like sandbagging, levee reinforcement and potential rescue efforts.  

IDNR

Starved Rock State Park will face crowds and intermittent closures this Memorial Day weekend. 

The park already receives many visitors at this time of year, but IDNR spokeswoman Rachel Torbert says recent flooding has put their main parking lot under water.

“About 650 fewer parking spots this Memorial Day Weekend, which means an already busy weekend with quite a few patrons visiting the park is going to be even busier with travel delays and possible closures when parking fills up at the park,” she said.

Chase Cavanaugh

Governor J.B. Pritzker surveyed flood damage in Machesney Park and Freeport Wednesday. The nearby Rock and Pecatonica Rivers reached record levels. The latter crested at its highest level since 1933.

Pritzker praised local officials for their evacuation and damage control efforts and said he would provide additional support from the state.

“I’ll be here today, but I’ll be back whenever this community needs more help, and of course, our emergency management officials are going to be on the ground, helping every single day," he said.

Northern Illinois Storms Cause Flooding, Minor Damage

Jun 27, 2018
Victoria Lunacek / WNIJ NEWS

Multiple storms drenched northern Illinois Tuesday afternoon and evening, leaving roads flooded.

The storms dropped two to four inches of rain, causing flash flooding in many areas. Two tornadoes briefly touched down causing little to no damage. 

One briefly touched down in Kane County just north of Maple Park, causing no damage. The tornado in the Will County community of Manhattan was rated as an EF-1, with winds of 95 miles per hour. Minor tree damage was reported along the tornado's path. 

FEMA

The sewage treatment plant at Marseilles is receiving two new upgrades to deal with potential flooding.

Wastewater Superintendent Jason Rix says the first of these is a floodwall providing five extra feet of clearance, which is still above the highest recorded level for floodwaters in 500 years. 

“We are putting in a roughly 1200 linear foot wall essentially, made of corrugated steel, and it will protect us from any flooding from the Illinois River," he said.

This comes after two near-floodings in 2008 and 2013 when the plant was saved by judicious use of sandbags. 

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Two Illinois Valley cities are getting more than a million dollars each from the federal government to help prevent flood damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced the grants to Ottawa and Marseilles Tuesday.

U.S. Government/SBA

People and businesses in northwestern Illinois affected by severe storms and flooding in July are now eligible for federal help. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner made the announcement Tuesday.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s approval of the state request for assistance means people and businesses in Stephenson and the surrounding Illinois counties of Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle and Winnebago who were affected by flooding are now eligible to apply for low-interest, long-term loans to help them recover from the disaster.

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has submitted a request to the federal Small Business Administration to help Stephenson County residents affected by July flooding.

“Stephenson County was particularly hard hit by the July floods, and we want to do everything possible to help them fully recover,” Gov. Rauner said. “If approved, the SBA assistance could be a tremendous help to many people who are working to repair or replace their homes or businesses.”

twitter.com/BruceRauner

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner extended tax deadlines for residents in counties struggling with recent flooding.

The affected counties include Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Rock Island, Carroll, Henry, and Jo Daviess.  This expands a privilege extended previously to Kane, Lake, McHenry and Cook counties. The waiver applies to those whose tax returns are due between July 11 and Dec. 1. 

Eli Chen/St. Louis Public Radio

Nancy Guyton has lived by the Mississippi River her entire life. She and her husband farm in Annada, a small town on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River. She knows that growing crops on the floodplain comes with some risks.

The Guytons’ farm, about 65 miles north of St. Louis, endured major floods along the Mississippi in 1993 and 2008. But since 2008, she’s noticed more flooding.

Illinois Has Second Wettest April On Record

May 2, 2017
WUIS

Last month was the second-wettest April on record for Illinois. Average state precipitation came in at about seven inches.  

State Climatologist Jim Angel says much of it came in the last seven days, particularly in downstate areas such as Carbondale and Murphysboro. Gov. Bruce Rauner activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate relief efforts. 

The Illinois River rose to around 14 feet over the weekend due to heavy rainfall. The National Weather Service predicts it could crest as high as 20 feet Monday. 

As of Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service reports Ottawa received the most rain, at 4.5 inches. It was followed by Oglesby, at 4.44 inches, and LaSalle, at  highest precipitation, at 4.37 inches. 

Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Media

Governor Bruce Rauner says state government has help for flood-damaged counties -- but not in the form of money to cover flood-related expenses.

Rauner visited the Douglas County town of Villa Grove yesterday, part of a three-day tour of flooded counties that have been declared state disaster areas. 

He says the state's inability to provide flood-relief funding has nothing to do with Illinois’ budget impasse.

'Urban Flooding' A Big Problem In Illinois

Jul 27, 2015
WUIS

Illinois communities along rivers are used to flooding. But a state report says there is an increase in so-called "urban flooding" in communities outside a flood plain.

Flooding in cities and towns across Illinois did more than $2 billion in damage over a seven year period. The report from the DNR blames outdated sewer systems and heavier rains. 

FEMA Looking For Temporary Workers

May 31, 2013
Guy Stephens / WNIJ

FEMA is taking applications for temporary, full-time workers in such areas as finance and administration, writing and public information, planning, individual disaster assistance, information technology and  logistics.  

According to a news release, most of the 78 jobs will be located in Aurora, with others located in the impacted areas.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

People who live in the Illinois River town of Marseilles will learn more about their options tonight as the recovery from last month’s flooding continues. The Army Corps of Engineers based in Rock Island will host the town hall meeting that starts at 6:00 at the Marseilles American Legion Hall. 

WNIJ

Limited navigation through the Marseilles Lock and Dam has resumed following the elevation of the navigational pool by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

According to the Unified Command, The Marseilles pool was elevated to its navigable level late Wednesday afternoon.

The Coast Guard continues to enforce a Regulated Navigation Area from the Marseilles Lock at mile marker 244.6 to the Gum Creek Light and Daymark at mile marker 247.8.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

JoEllen Fuller laughs nervously when asked how last month's floods damaged her school.

"Oh Boy. It was horrible. It was just devastating. The clean-up process is in full swing, everything has been removed. We just have a shell." - Marseilles Supt. JoEllen Fuller