WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department has been monitoring river levels throughout the County and it is predicted that we will be experiencing some flooding conditions. Recent heavy rains and predictions for continued rain along with increased water levels in the river north of Winnebago County have caused rivers to rise. According to National Weather Service predictions, we will continue to see increases in the water levels over the next several days with the Rock River predicted to rise above the 10 foot flood stage by tomorrow.
To address flooding issues, barricades will be available in the event of anticipated road closures in affected areas. Emergency Notification System calls have also been made to these affected residents.
A response plan is being coordinated by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, along with Winnebago County and the Village of Machesney Park; and North Park, Harlem-Roscoe, and New Milford Fire Departments.
Sand and sandbags are being made available at:
- Harlem-Roscoe Fire Station #1—10544 Main St., Roscoe, 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. Currently, the Rock River at Latham is at 6.6 feet with predictions to rise to just over 11.5 feet before cresting on Wednesday. Residents most likely to be affected include homes along: Edgemere Terrace; Ventura Boulevard; 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 the event of significant flooding, 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.
The Rock River in Winnebago County is presently open with no restrictions, however, that will be subject to change as river levels rise. 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 www.winnebagosheriff.com