Lake County Flood Warnings - Emergency Management Update
National Weather Service (NWS) flood warnings
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued flood warnings for both the Fox and Des Plaines Rivers in Lake County. In addition to the forecast for widespread rainfall, there is a moderate risk of significant severe weather during the day today, including hail one-inch or larger, winds greater than 60mph, torrential rainfall, and isolated tornados. River and lake stages will continue to rise, with widespread moderate to major flood levels expected. Locally, heavy rain may cause flooded streets and roads, even in areas that do not typically flood. Motorists who encounter a flooded roadway should remember the safety slogan, "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"
Lake County Chairman Proclaims State of Emergency
Due to the significant widespread flooding throughout Lake County, and major record flooding occurring or forecast for the Des Plaines River and Fox River, Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor proclaimed a "State of Emergency" in Lake County. This action facilitates the sharing of resources and supports the County's request to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for assistance with storm response efforts. While it isn't clear that any state or federal disaster assistance will become available, Lake County Emergency Management is compiling initial damage and cost assessments from communities in regard to all of the recent storms.
Fox River (Fox Lake, Antioch Township, Grant Township, & Cuba Township) - Flood Warning (Flooding is occurring)
The Fox River in New Munster is forecast to rise to a stage of 14.9 feet by Saturday, and increasing flows into the Chain O'Lakes will continue to push lake levels higher. Moderate to major flooding is occurring or expected along the Fox River and Chain O'Lakes, and flood levels will likely approach or surpass those experienced in August, 2007. High water conditions are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
Des Plaines River (Russell/Wadsworth/Gurnee/Libertyville/Lincolnshire areas) - Flood Warning (Flooding is occurring)
The Des Plaines River near the community of Russell is forecast to rise to a stage of 9.7 feet by Friday night. Homes near the river along Russell Road are impacted at a stage of 9.0 feet. Downstream near Gurnee, the river has risen rapidly because of local heavy rain, and is forecast to rise to a major flood stage of 11.1 feet by Thursday evening. Grand Avenue is closed by inundation at a stage of 10.5 feet and US Highway 41 is closed at a stage of 11.0 feet. The Des Plaines River is forecast to rise to major flood stage at Lincolnshire by Thursday afternoon. Moderate or major flood levels are likely to persist along the Des Plaines River through the weekend.
Motorists should not drive through flooded roadways.
Property owners in flood-prone areas should immediately complete protective measures such as removing personal property from low lying areas, sandbagging garages or sheds that flood, and making sure that sump pumps are functioning correctly. Sandbags are available for those at risk of flooding through local municipalities and townships.
Intense rainfall, strong winds, and thunderstorms are expected over the next several days, and heavy rain may flood streets and roads, even in areas that do not typically flood. Currently there are road closures due to flooding. For the most up-to-date travel and roadway information visit Lake County PASSAGE, listen to highway advisory radio at 1620 AM, or get the free I-Phone and Android smart-phone applications.
Residents or businesses that have suffered structural flooding should report damages to local municipal officials or to Lake County Stormwater Management.
Lake County Forest Preserve Closures
Check the Lake County Forest Preserve website for preserve and trail closures.