In the wake of heavy March and early April rains, local rivers have been swelling, with the Rock and Pecatonica Rivers most affected to this point, primarily North and West of Rockford. Presently, the Rock River at Rockton and Latham Park and the Pecatonica River at Freeport and Shirland both sit slightly above flood stage.
Unfortunately, heavy rains in the coming days will cause these waters to rise significantly. An ensemble of 6 different computer models suggests that 3-4" of rain is a very good bet between now and Friday. What's worse is that our ground is completely saturated, meaning it can't handle any more water! Well, that water has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is going to be our area rivers! So, not only are we going to see the rivers rise 3-4" simply because of the water they receive, they'll also rise because the rivers to our north are also rising, AND they'll rise even more due to runoff! In the end, this could prove to be a VERY significant event, and one that's very much worthy of our attention!
The Rock River is not presently at flood stage at either Byron or Dixon, however, it's getting closer, and will very likely reach flood stage following these rains, so precautions will likely need to be taken there very soon. The Kishwaukee River is EASILY in the best shape of the three here locally, though we'll still keep an eye on levels in the wake of the incoming rains.
River flooding won't be the only concern here over the next several days. As mentioned earlier, the ground is saturated, so there's nowhere for this water to go. Thankfully, we do have sewers that will be able to handle some of the runoff, but many low lying areas will see standing water collect quickly during the waves of downpours expected. If you live in a flood-prone area that sees standing water encroach upon the lowest levels of your residence, you may want to start thinking about having a plan in place should waters rise quickly!
We're following this situation closely and will post frequent updates here and on our Facebook pages...