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updated: 6/26/2014 3:11 PM

Chain O' Lakes water level starting to fall, but more rain may be on the way

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Fox Waterway Agency officials said high water is flowing out of the Chain O' Lakes at a faster rate than it is flowing in, causing water levels to drop.

Ron Barker, executive director of the agency in Fox Lake, said officials will lift boating restrictions put in place this week as soon as the water drops to safe levels. When that will happen is unknown, he added.

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"All I can say right now is that water is going out faster than it's coming in, which is a good thing," Barker said. "(The lakes have) crested and are starting to drop, but it's really up to the weather."

High water levels led to a no-wake restriction being issued on the Fox River south to the Algonquin dam on Monday and on the Chain on Tuesday. No-wake means a boat must travel 5 mph or slow enough so as to not create a wake behind it.

Since then, water levels on the Chain have crested about a foot over normal summer pool levels Wednesday, and began dropping slowly into Thursday.

However, Barker said, weekend thunderstorms are predicted over Fox River watershed between southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois that could delay lifting boating restrictions.

"We should be all right if the thunderstorms stay away," he said.

The National Weather Service has predicted a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms until Saturday in Burlington, Wisconsin, increasing to 40 percent Saturday afternoon. There is a 50 percent chance of storms in southern Wisconsin on Sunday and Monday.

In Illinois, there is a 20 percent chance of storms until Saturday night, when the chance of storms jumps to 40 percent. From there, a chance of storms remains through Monday.

For more information, visit the Fox Waterway Agency website at foxwaterway.state.il.us or the National Weather Service website at weather.gov,

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