Floodwaters from Des Plaines River recede Saturday in Lincolnshire, but river still rising in Gurnee
As floodwaters receded off streets and out of yards Saturday in Lincolnshire neighborhoods near the Des Plaines River, village Public Works Director Brad Woodbury was relieved the flooding wasn't as severe as originally projected.
But he wasn't about to say the flood-prone village was out of the woods, either.
"We're only as good as our forecast," Woodbury said.
Fortunately for Woodbury, his team and riverside residents, the forecast for this week is mostly rain-free.
Scattered thunderstorms are possible Sunday, but the rest of the week looks dry.
The swollen Des Plaines River crested between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Saturday at about 15 feet, lower than the 16-foot projection made the day before as its rushing waters were rising.
Water levels continued dropping during the day, allowing village crews to reopen many of the streets they'd been forced to close Friday.
As of Saturday afternoon, only sections of Lincolnshire Drive and Londonderry Lane were closed to traffic, as well as Marriott Drive at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort.
The resort itself was closed for a second day, too.
The Des Plaines may swell again between Sunday and Tuesday as stormwater that entered the river up north heads south, National Weather Service data indicates.
But it shouldn't get much deeper than it did Friday and should drop off significantly after Tuesday.
The rainstorms that led to the flooding occurred while an engineering consultant is studying the village's recurring stormwater drainage problems.
Representatives from Christopher B. Burke Engineering visited Lincolnshire during this week's emergency to observe the situation and take photos for their eventual report, Woodbury said.
The study is the biggest public project in Woodbury's years in Lincolnshire.
"We're eager to (see) what those results will be," Woodbury said.
National Weather Service models said the river's surface level near the Wisconsin border would continue rising into major flood stage until finally receding Sunday morning.
Likewise, the river's depth near Gurnee was expected to peak between today and Monday before receding.
Volunteers filled sandbags at Warren Township High School's O'Plaine Campus in Gurnee on Saturday for residents in need.
Many segments of the Des Plaines River Trail, which follows the river through Lake County, were closed Saturday because of water, as were some of the forests preserves it connects.
Parts of the Grassy Lake Forest Preserve near Lake Barrington, Rollins Savanna near Grayslake and other forest preserves were closed because of flooding, too, even though neither is near the river.
To check on the status of Lake County Forest Preserve District sites and trails, visit lcfpd.org/preserves/closures-controlled-burns/.
Elsewhere along the Des Plaines River, the Cook County Forest Preserve District's Massasauga Family Picnic Area and Dam No. 1 Woods, both near Wheeling, remained closed to the public because of extensive flooding.
Stretches of Route 132, Old Grand Avenue and O'Plaine Road in Gurnee near the river remained closed because of flooding Saturday.
Lake-Cook Road east of Route 43 near Deerfield still had water on the pavement but was passable, transportation officials reported.
Des Plaines River communities weren't the only ones affected by last week's heavy rains.
A no-wake order remained in place Saturday on Wauconda's Bangs Lake, forcing boaters to keep their speeds low.
The Fox River between Lake and McHenry counties remained off limits to boaters Saturday, according to the Fox Waterway Agency. The Chain O' Lakes remained under a no-wake order.
Water levels on the Fox River and its lakes continued rising in many spots Saturday, agency data indicated, but they were leveling off in others.