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McHenry County rain, flooding likely to continue, National Weather Service says

Forecast calls for more thunderstorms, National Weather Service says

McHenry resident Bobby Jones was in his house Monday when he heard a chainsaw operating in his front yard.

“I looked out the window and had a yard full of neighbors, chopping away,” Jones said.

Storms swept through McHenry County over the weekend and caused a barrage of flooding, evacuations and lightning strikes, as well as the downed tree in Jones’ yard.

Jones, who has lived on Country Club Drive in McHenry for decades, is disabled and wouldn’t have been able to handle the tree himself. He had made calls to a tree removal service, but neighbors stepped in Monday, he said.

“It was touching, sweet, humbling,” Jones said. “I don’t know how to explain how it was and how I felt. ... In this little alcove, we all know each other, for better or worse. When someone is in trouble, everyone gets together and helps out.”

McHenry County residents could see more weather-related snags in the week ahead. The county remained under a hazardous weather and flood warning Tuesday. The Fox River is nearing flood stage, and more rain is expected in the forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

Wonder Lake saw the most rain in the 24-hour period from Monday to Tuesday, with the McHenry and Bull Valley areas following. Wonder Lake received 2.6 inches, and McHenry and Bull Valley neared 1.7 inches, National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seeley said.

“Those numbers are high, but when you have thunderstorms, it’s not unusual to see that kind of rain,” Seeley said. “More rain [is in the forecast], more showers and thunderstorms. The additional rain will be remnants of [Tropical Storm Gordon], but we are still figuring out the details.”

Full weekend rain totals were not available Tuesday.

A preliminary forecast showed a
60 percent chance of rain Wednesday, with showers likely between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., and a thunderstorm possible in the afternoon.

The wet weather likely is in part caused by a tropical storm making its way toward the Mississippi coast.

Forecasters said they still expect Tropical Storm Gordon to become a hurricane before hitting land somewhere along or near the Mississippi coast.

Gordon’s top sustained winds are
65 mph, but the storm is expected to rise above the 74 mph threshold to become a hurricane before falling on land late Tuesday or sometime Wednesday.

By Tuesday morning, the storm was centered at 145 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with top sustained winds of 65 mph, forecasters said. It was moving relatively quickly, at about 15 mph.

The Fox River at the Algonquin Tailwater is nearing flood stage, and officials expect levels to continue to rise. As of Tuesday morning, the river had risen to 9.4 feet, with flood stage at 9.5 feet, according to the weather service.

“With river levels already high across a lot of northern Illinois, [more rain] could cause aggravated issues,” Seeley said.

The Fox Waterway Agency has advised that Fox River zones A through C are under no-wake restrictions because of weather conditions. The Fox River at the Algonquin Tailwater should stay at 9.5 feet for the next three days, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“What is undetermined is the amount of rain we will get Friday and Saturday, which we pray is minimal,” said Joe Keller, director of the Fox Waterway Agency.

Lakewood officials also said Crystal Lake is under a no-wake restriction until further notice.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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