Water level in Chain O' Lakes still rising

Jackson Road in Riley Township is washed out after heavy flooding from the Coon 
Jackson Road in Riley Township is washed out after heavy flooding from the Coon Creek.

Flood damage assessment and anticipation of the cresting of the Fox River continues Friday morning throughout McHenry County and the surrounding area:

4:55 P.M. UPDATE: The Lake County Emergency Operations expects the water level in the Chain O’Lakes to rise another 6-12 inches.

Water levels will remain near crest-level for about a week, with an anticipated slow fall to normal levels.
Fox River downstream from the Chain is a concern, with road impacts and possible residential flooding at and south of Rawson Bridge Road, which is closed, Lake County said.

3:30 P.M. UPDATE: Nunda Township is looking for volunteers to help make sand bags, a trustee said in an email.

Anyone who is able can head over Nunda Township highway department, 3518 Bay Road, Crystal Lake, this afternoon and evening or anytime Saturday, Trustee Mike Shorten said.

Volunteers will help load the bags onto pallets for delivery and those that can't lift can tie the bags shut once they're filled.

Nunda Township has already made over 16,000 sand bags since Wednesday, he said.

2:45 P.M. UPDATE: The residents of at least five homes in Spring Grove have evacuated their homes as Nippersink Creek continues to rise, the Spring Grove fire chief said.

Other residents are still sandbagging and plan on staying put, Chief Rich Tobiasz said.

Volunteers have been making sand bags at the Spring Grove Fire Protection District, 8214 Richardson Road. Around 500 bags are available for residents.

Contact the fire department at 815-675-2450 for more information.

2:40 P.M. UPDATE: The projected crest level for the Fox River in Algonquin continues to drop.

The National Weather Service now says the river will crest at 12.8 feet early Sunday morning. As of 1:30 p.m. Friday, the river was at 12.11 feet.

11:55 A.M. UPDATE: Volunteers and prisoners in Nunda Township worked side-by-side Friday to fill sandbags in preparation of continued flooding in McHenry County.

The McHenry County prisoners and volunteers plan to fill 12,000 bags in addition to the 12,000 that were filled on Thursday.

Volunteers came from across the county to fill, tie, and send out the bags, which will be distributed throughout the county.

“They all came together for the community,” said Nunda Township Highway Commissioner Don Kopsel. “It's really great.”

As of Friday morning, the river level was 12.12 feet and is expected to crest Sunday at 13.1 feet.

10:40 A.M. UPDATE: A flood warning along the Fox River in Algonquin remains in effect.

As of Friday morning, the river level is 12.12 feet. The river is expected to crest Sunday at 13.1 feet, which is lower than earlier projections.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area surrounding downtown Algonquin. Flooding continues on streets adjacent the river. Cornish Park remains closed.

Village officials issued notice to residents who live along the floodplain that there is potential for damage to property and sandbagging is encouraged. The village said sandbags are available in the following locations: Hubbard Street and Oceola Drive, Rattray Drive and Beach Drive, Rattray Drive and Filip Road, Center Street and Willow Street, LaFox River Drive at Cornish Park, and at Riverfront Park.

UPDATE 8:38 A.M: Riley Township officials report that a about a 75-foot stretch of Jackson Road three miles southwest of Marengo has washed away from floodwaters. The damage is west of Burma Road.

ORIGINAL STORY: With the Fox River expected to crest Saturday at 13.4 feet, municipalities are advising residents in the floodplain to prepare for possible property damage.

As of 7 a.m. Friday, the Fox River at the Algonquin Tailwater gauge was at 12.06 feet, three feet above flood stage.

The Fox River at the McHenry dam was 6.38 feet Friday morning, more than two feet above flood stage.

In Algonquin, residents in the floodplain were urged to place sandbags around their property because there was a potential for damage.

Volunteers, including groups such as The Salvation Army and the Algonquin Explorers, have helped public works employees in filling sandbags for residents, Assistant to the Village Manager Mike Kumbera said.

“We try to produce them as fast as we can,” Kumbera said.

The village, in a news release, said localized flooding continues on several streets throughout Algonquin, and Cornish Park remains closed to the public because of the rising waters.

“We don’t want people to get caught up in that,” Kumbera said.

Village employees went door-to-door to homes around the river to let residents know sandbags would be available for free, Kumbera said.

The village also continues to provide water-level information to its residents and has set up a hotline to report flooding concerns.

Motorists were advised to avoid the area surrounding downtown Algonquin because of flash flooding, the news release said.

The village also has been in contact with the county’s emergency management agency and Red Cross in case there is a need for further help.

“We’ll have some options out there,” Kumbera said.

The Nunda Township Highway Department also is helping fill sandbags at the township offices so they can be delivered to residents if needed.

Township Trustee Mike Shorten said people are working “around the clock” and looked for volunteers to help through the evening.

Fox Lake 911 Center Manager Annette Wolf said there is lots of high water.

“We’re visiting the most affected areas, assessing some of the damage and figuring out what residents need,” Wolf said.

Wolf said people should do as much as possible now, ahead of the river cresting, and if need be, call for help. People should double-check sump pumps to make sure they are working. 

Fox Lake is delivering sandbags to people who requested them and building walls for those who can’t do it themselves, Wolf said.

“Be careful,” Wolf said. “If a street is marked as flooded, stay out of the area. It just creates waves into residents’ houses, and that just makes a bigger mess.”

In Spring Grove, Fire Chief Rich Tobiasz said they are monitoring the “quickly rising” Nippersink Creek, which has not reached any homes yet. They’ve distributed 50 or 60 sandbags to the usual places.

“I’ve seen it worse in the early ‘90s,” Tobiasz said. “The worry is a day or two from now if the creek continues to rise.”

McHenry County Board Chairwoman Tina Hill declared the county a disaster emergency area, according to a news release from the county’s health department.

“River projections have exceeded previous estimates by over 2 feet,” the McHenry County Department of Health said. “All of McHenry County riverfront communities are in a state of emergency.”

Issuing the declaration allows the state to provide assistance to the county. The declaration is in effect until April 24.

In the city of McHenry, Public Works Director Jon Schmitt said the municipality had sandbags filled if residents needed them. Also to help keep water flowing, every winter, public works crews remove downed trees from the creeks and streams.

“We just finished that project, as far as not having obstructions to plug culverts,” Schmitt said.

Algonquin has sandbags available for its residents at: 

• Hubbard Street and Oceola Drive

• Rattray Drive and Beach Drive

• Rattray Drive and Filip Road

• Center Street and Willow Street

• LaFox River Drive at Cornish Park

• Riverfront Park

Residents with questions regarding the flooding event and most current forecasts may visit the village’s website at www.algonquin.org. To report flooding concerns, please call 847-658-1502.

High waters wreak havoc on McHenry County roadwaysAlgonquin neighbors pitch in to prevent further flood damageAlgonquin residents work to control floodingRaw video: Flood damage in Fox LakePHOTOS: Reader-submitted flood photosPHOTOS: McHenry County controls floodingAgencies offer flood-related tips
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