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updated: 4/19/2013 12:24 PM

Libertyville area weathering storm with minimal impact

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  • Sandbags are ready at Riverside Park as the Des Plaines River continues to rise Friday morning in Libertyville.

       Sandbags are ready at Riverside Park as the Des Plaines River continues to rise Friday morning in Libertyville.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Ducks swim through Riverside Park as the Des Plaines River overflowed it's banks Friday morning in Libertyville.

       Ducks swim through Riverside Park as the Des Plaines River overflowed it's banks Friday morning in Libertyville.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Much of the Libertyille Golf Course along the Des Plaines River is under water.

       Much of the Libertyille Golf Course along the Des Plaines River is under water.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

The Des Plaines River in Gurnee crested early Friday as officials downstream in Libertyville waited to see the impact, although it appears the village and immediate area will weather the storm without major problems.

"After Gurnee, that wave kind of comes down here through Libertyville. We're continuing to monitor it," Public Works Director John Heinz said.

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The river rose about four inches overnight, which was substantially less than the 18-inch rise into Thursday morning, he added. Later Thursday, Mayor Terry Weppler signed a local declaration of disaster due to severe weather as a necessary step for potential reimbursement of expenses.

Heinz said that unlike 2007, it has been difficult to make accurate predictions of the river level, perhaps because there has more water in tributaries such as Almond Marsh and Bull Creek.

Volunteers, including Libertyville High School students, Boy Scouts and naval recruits, packed about 1,500 sandbags at the village public works facility and other locations Thursday. Piles of sand also were delivered to neighborhoods on Sandstone Drive, Riverside Drive and Country Club Drive.

Libertyville Township officials and volunteers used 3,000 to 4,000 sandbags to protect about 50 homes on Sprucewood and Birchwood Lanes in the Countryside Manor subdivision, and on Hawthorne Lane and Oak Spring Lane, highway commissioner Bill Morgan said.

"The water is close but nobody has water in their house," he said Friday. Roads that had been closed Thursday had drained and were open, he added.

Heinz said two homes on Sandstone, which fronts Lake Minear, had a few inches of water in walkout basements.

"I don't believe it will impact any other structures," he said. The village has stockpiled sandbags in case they are needed. The village also received 10 to 20 calls of water in basements elsewhere in the village, he added.

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