U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Brigadier General Robert Crear, Commander, Mississippi Valley Division, and Colonel Robert Sinkler, Commander, Rock Island District to discuss how to begin emergency repairs on the Alpine Dam and Keith Creek to protect Rockford from future flooding.
"There is a tremendous amount of work ahead of us in Rockford and Winnebago County,” said Durbin. “While there are already important long-term repair plans in place, there are things that need to be done immediately to help keep Rockford safe from the potential disaster that could be caused by another flood. We will be working with both the Corps and the City to complete necessary emergency repairs to the Alpine Dam and address Keith Creek flooding.”
In today’s meeting, the Corps provided an update on the current condition of Keith Creek floodplain and the aging Alpine Dam, as well as a summary of the potential danger facing the City of Rockford if no action is taken. Corps officials noted that immediately implementing emergency repairs can help prevent dam failure while the steps to provide a long-term overhaul of the structure is implemented. Durbin and Corps leaders discussed possible legislative steps that would allow the Corps to address the need for emergency repairs immediately.
On September 5th, immediately following the Rockford flooding, Durbin and others sent a letter to Col. Sinkler asking Rock Island District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to give priority to both long and short-term rehabilitation of Alpine Dam. Durbin has been working with Congressman Don Manzullo and Senator Barack Obama to address the flooding issues.