Flooding continues, Des Plaines River to crest today
As residents near the Des Plaines River wait for the water to crest Friday, those along the Fox River are looking to the north to see when they will be deluged with flooding.
Right now, all eyes are on the Des Plaines River in Des Plaines, where the National Weather Service expects the river to crest at 11 feet by 1 p.m. today, affecting roughly 5,600 single-family homes and condominium units just west of the river. Water levels are currently at 10.85 feet, according to city officials.
Updates are available from the National Weather Service Advanced Hydraulic Prediction service.
The record in Des Plaines is 10.9 feet, about 6-feet over flood levels.
As of Thursday night, 13 homes had been evacuated along Hawthorne Lane and Big Bend Drive due to flooding. Fire department personnel continue to evacuate Big Bend Drive, Hawthorne Lane, Hawthorne Terrace, and Junior Terrace, city officials said this morning.
A shelter has been opened at Prairie Lakes Community Center, 515 E. Thacker St., the largest facility in town, where the Red Cross will help evacuees with necessities.
The weather service said river levels have peaked at 4 feet over flood stage in Lincolnshire, and should start falling by the end of the day. However, gauges in Gurnee show river levels have reached 4 feet over flood stage, and are increasing.
A new forecast is expected to released later this morning, officials at the weather service said.
Numerous schools in the area announced they would be closed this morning. Among them are schools in Naperville, Lisle, Libertyville and Des Plaines. People can see whether their district is closed by checking out the Emergency Closing Center.
The Chain O' Lakes is currently at 6.7 feet, or about 18 inches over flood stage, according to the United States Geological Survey.
However, the National Weather Service is predicting the Fox River at New Munster Wis., will crest at 5 feet over flood stage Saturday evening. That water is expected to reach the northern most section of Illinois on Monday afternoon, then flow into the Chain O' Lakes overnight Monday.
When that water arrives, it will cause the Chain to rise even higher, officials expect.
All of that water will head south along the Fox River to Algonquin, Fox River Grove and eventually Elgin.
Road closures due to flooding remain throughout the region, in DuPage, Lake and Cook counties. Motorists are urged to not drive through flooded streets, and always remember the phrase "Don't drown, turn around."
In addition, Naperville has shut down the use of all bridges in downtown. People are urged to completely avoid the downtown area.
Governor Pat Quinn has declared 38 counties state disaster areas after surveying flood damage caused by several days of severe storms and heavy rainfall across much of Illinois.
The disaster declaration will accelerate and expand access to state emergency resources, as well as allow the state to formally pursue federal relief and support. "Illinois has seen an incredible level of devastation and reports indicate that conditions will get worse in the coming days," Quinn said. "We want to ensure that every county gets the assistance they need and this declaration will give every affected community access to available resources. As we wait for the floods to pass, all Illinois residents should continue to take precautions, and stay off the roads if possible."