McHenry County cataloging flood damage

Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision to declare McHenry County a disaster area due to the flooding meant the state and county could start assessing the damage floodwater, a process that began Monday.

At the same time, Algonquin Police Chief Russell Laine reminded would-be boaters to stay out of the Fox River, which is now closed due to the flooding. On Friday and Sunday, police arrested three people who went into the river — one of whom flipped over the dam — and issued a warning to a woman who allowed her 7-year-old daughter to walk near raging waters.

“People are entering the river using kayaks and flotation devices that are not made for rivers and the river is closed officially,” Laine said. “They don’t think about the harm not only to themselves, but to the rescue personnel.”

The Illinois Emergency Services Management Association Monday dispatched six flood damage assessment teams to McHenry County to document the structural and property damage caused by the flooding. As part of those efforts, the teams will spend the next few days visiting property in Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Johnsburg, McHenry, Marengo, Spring Grove and Algonquin and Nunda townships.

The “disaster area” designation allows the state to seek federal relief and support and gives it additional access to emergency resources.

“We’re encouraging residents to work with this team as they go,” said Adam Lehmann, a McHenry County spokesman. “It’s not just going to be a windshield tour.”

Elsewhere, certain streets in Algonquin, East Dundee and West Dundee remained closed due to the flooding and sandbagging efforts were still in effect. The river crested on Sunday and as of Monday afternoon, the Fox River tail water in Algonquin had hit 12.53 feet, more than three feet higher than the flood stage of 9.5 feet, but slightly lower than Friday’s levels, according to the National Weather Service.

“The flood isn’t getting worse and it isn’t getting any better,” West Dundee Public Works Director Rich Babica said. “So far, we’re holding our own.”

Officials from all three towns are also keeping an eye on the skies to see whether additional forecast rain through Tuesday will shake the status quo.

Meanwhile, the flooding has resulted in arrests in Algonquin’s portion of the Fox River.

On Friday, Patrick Page, 27, of the 200 block of Terry Court in Woodstock and Jeremy Smith, 27, of the 8800 block of Sunset Drive in Wonder Lake, were each charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing, which are punishable by a fine, according to Algonquin police.

The two were seen paddling a rubber raft in the river after police had stopped them from doing it earlier, Deputy Police Chief Steve Kuzynowski said. Police, who said the pair had been drinking alcohol, got them to come to the shoreline and arrested them, Kuzynowski said. The pair are due in court May 29.

On Sunday, David Clark, 68, of the 800 block of Fox Run Lane, Algonquin, was charged with careless boat operation and with operating in a restricted area. Police said Clark was paddling a kayak through the river when it went over a dam. Fire personnel were able to rescue him, after he grabbed onto a tree branch, Kuzynowski said. Clark will appear in McHenry County court May 29.

“All three of these people are very lucky especially the ones that had alcohol in their system,” Kuzynowski said.

  Algonquin resident Tony Angarola inspects the sandbag wall currently holding back about a foot of water from the Fox River Monday morning. The village has distributed more than 14,000 sandbags to its residents, an official said. Christopher Hankins/
  A wall of sandbags is keeping the Fox River at bay Monday behind Tony Angarola’s property in Algonquin, and he’s hoping the rain this week is minimal to keep the level from rising further. Christopher Hankins/
  The Algonquin dam is only visible due to the waves created by water as the swollen Fox River rushes beneath Algonquin Road Monday morning. A 68-year-old Algonquin man was arrested Sunday after his kayak went over the dam. The river is closed and boating activities are not allowed. Christopher Hankins/
  Cornish Park in Algonquin, and several homes south of it, remain inundated with floodwaters from the Fox River Monday morning. Several streets remain closed in the village. Christopher Hankins/
  The corner of Willow and Center streets in Algonquin has become part of the Fox River as floodwaters breech the banks of the river. Christopher Hankins/
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