Winnebago County Advising Citizens to Prepare for Potential Flooding

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STATELINE (WIFR) – As the rain continues to come down, flooding is an even bigger concern in the Stateline. A lot of families are now getting ready.

There’s already some flooding along the Rock River in Machesney Park and in Loves Park. That’s why Winnebago County and local fire departments want residents to be ready for this weekend’s potential damage.

If you take a look at Martin Park, which is on the east side of the Rock River in Loves Park, benches are partially under water. Right now we’re about a half a foot away from flood stage, which is 10 feet. The National Weather service predicts the Rock River will rise to 11 feet that will cause some flooding sometime on Sunday.

Machesney Park residents aren’t taking any chances. Sandbags were available today at Schoonmaker Park to help with that potential flooding.

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department is monitoring river levels throughout the County and advising citizens to be prepared for potential flooding. Recent heavy rains and predictions for continued rain over the next several days have caused rivers to rise significantly in the past few days.

In preparation for any flooding issues, informational flyers are being distributed to residents in the potentially affected areas. Barricades will be available in the event of road closures, and Emergency Notification System calls have been made to these affected residents.

The response plan is being coordinated by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, along with Winnebago County; the Village of Machesney Park; and North Park, Harlem-Roscoe, Blackhawk, and New Milford Fire Departments.

Sand and sandbags will be available at:

  • Harlem-Roscoe Fire Station #1—10544 Main St., Roscoe, IL
  • Schoonmaker Park—10500 Ventura Blvd., Machesney Park, IL
  • Michalsen Office Furniture parking lot—8010 N. 2nd St., Machesney Park, IL
  • New Milford Fire Station—2177 Will James Rd., New Milford, IL

    Generally, at the 10 foot flood stage, water will affect backyards along the river and begins to fill in low lying areas near the river. At 11.5 feet, water will surround low lying homes and cause some neighborhood roads to close. Residents most likely to be affected include homes along: Edgemere Terrace; Shore Drive; and Blackhawk Island.
    The Sheriff’s Office will continue to monitor the weather and river conditions for the next several days and make any adjustments to our response as needed for any changing conditions. In addition, the Sheriff’s Emergency Operations Center (E.O.C.) will be staffed and personnel will be available for any issues 24 hours a day. You may call 815-319-6215 with any concerns regarding flooding.
    Though the current weather conditions are not conducive to outdoor boating activities, Sheriff Meyers has implemented a “NO WAKE ZONE” for the entire Rock River in Winnebago County. The presence of debris in the river creates hazardous conditions which are difficult to detect, and the increased water flow creates a much faster current than what has been experienced over the past few months with the lower water levels. These conditions also increase the likelihood of problems for users of the river, which results in exposing first responders to dangerous conditions should a rescue situation develop.

    Residents of the area are reminded that as the water rises, flooding may continue to occur in areas affected by the higher water levels. Any additional rainfall will greatly impact the water levels, as the ground is saturated, and any significant amounts of rain over the next several days will add runoff to the water levels.
    Other rivers, creeks, and streams throughout the County will also be affected, but most of those areas do not threaten homes. Motorists are also reminded that they should not drive through standing flood water. If they encounter an obstruction due to the water, they should turn around and proceed in different direction rather than take a risk at driving forward.
    For current river conditions and any further updates contact the Sheriff=s Office at (815) 319-6300, or the Rock River information telephone line at (815) 316-8888. You may also visit the Sheriff=s Department=s website at

    STATELINE (WIFR) -- Many of us woke up to another round of heavy thunderstorms. So much rain has fallen in the last 48 hours that area rivers are beginning to rise. One to three inches of rain have fallen across most of the area over the last 48 hours with an additional one to three expected in the days to come. Take a look behind me, this is the Rock River near the airport. As you can see it is starting to come up a bit. There remains a flood watch for the Rock River in Winnebago County.

    Farther north and west in portions of Rock, Green, and Stephenson Counties, flood warnings are out with minor flooding already occurring. Those are the areas most at risk in the days to come.

    Remember if you live in a low lying area, have a plan just in case the water starts to rise.

    If you come across a flooded roadway, never drive into it. The depth can be unknown and it only takes two to three feet of flowing water to displace a car.

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