River Closure

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It's June on the Rock River, but the only display of motor power is being provided by Mother Nature.

"The danger that is there at this time is great. The flow is just horrendous. The amount of debris that's in the river," said Dennis Lolli of Winnebago County's Emergency Response Team Chief.

Spring rain has kept boaters at bay in recent weeks with no wake zones and now another closure on the Rock River which has risen to about 9.5 feet. Ten feet is flood stage.

The strong current and quick moving debris can trip up boaters and cause damage to the shoreline. Boaters understand but they're eager to hit the water.

"I'm kind of bummed. I like to go out and test drive the boats with customers. And we go out wakeboarding and water skiing. We haven't been able to do that yet this year," said Rockford Marina office manager Kevin Chiodini.

The high levels are not only dampening boaters’ spirits, they're taking a toll on some local businesses. Few people are stopping by the Rockford Marina to get a bite to eat, stock up on supplies or refuel.

"Our shore store sales have been down drastically. That's where we sell all our convenience items on the river. Our gas. So those sales have been affected by it," said Chiodini.

River levels are expected to drop later this week. Rockford Marina is hoping Mother Nature cooperates in time for their big Fourth of July weekend.