Des Plaines closes more roads; river expected to crest today
Des Plaines officials Thursday afternoon closed two stretches of River Road due to the possibility of storm-related water levels affecting traffic.
Officials said drivers should anticipate closures through the weekend, though the lanes could be reopened, depending on conditions.
The two areas of the road experiencing full lane closures are from Rand Road south a block to Elk Grove Boulevard and from Miner Street south to Oakton Street.
Although city officials anticipated the National Weather Service would reduce projections of a record-breaking 21-foot crest, the prediction had not been reduced by early evening Thursday. The record is 20.9 feet.
Des Plaines city officials took extra precautions as the Des Plaines River continued to rise Thursday, shutting down additional roads and giving residents sandbags. The river is expected to reach its highest level Sunday.
Big Bend Drive off Rand Road was flooded Thursday. However, city public works employees remembered the water had gone much higher at the peak of flooding in 2013, the last major event for the area. The neighborhood is frequently the first to be affected by the river, and the city has been working to buy homes and relocate residents through a federal grant program.
Linda DeTomasi, a city spokeswoman, said officials have continued to monitor forecasts and weather in Lake County, where the heaviest rain fell this week.
"We're prepared for the worst, and we have had no real issues," she said.
Six other closures continue elsewhere in the city:
• Central Road between River and East River roads
• Golf Road between River and East River roads
• Joseph Schwab Road between Miner Street and Algonquin Road
• Hawthorne Lane and Big Bend Drive
• Thacker Street between River Road and Cora Street
• Algonquin Road between Oakton and Lee streets
The city's public works department has set up six locations for residents to fill sandbags and placed concrete barricades along River Road to hold back rising waters.
A map of road closures and sandbag locations is at www.desplaines.org.
In residential neighborhoods and church parking lots, residents and landscaping workers filled up bags from large piles of sand dumped at the locations. Some worried the water would reach homes and seep in through their backdoors.
On Wednesday night, the city opened its emergency operations center to monitor river conditions, warning low-lying areas may flood.
The Methodist CampGround near the intersection of River and Algonquin roads, which commonly floods during heavy rainstorms, was underwater and uninhabited Thursday morning. Many homes in the area, however, appeared to remain dry.
City officials will issue updates as conditions change. Check www.desplaines.org or call (847) 391-5543 for recorded updates.
• Daily Herald staff writer Eric Peterson contributed to this report.