The following release was sent on Monday afternoon from C. Kent McKenzie, emergency management coordinator of Lake County, and M. Anthony Wolff, chief engineer and flood operations manager for the county's Stormwater Management Commission:
The Lake County Stormwater Management Commission has elevated its Flood Alert level to Orange, which means flooding is extremely or moderately likely. The County uses the alert code to indicate the current status for flash flooding and river-line flooding. The flood warning for Lake County issued by the National Weather Service continues based on the current levels on the Des Plaines and Fox Rivers.
Water levels on the Des Plaines River from Wisconsin to Libertyville have begun to stabilize. The river at Russell Road has crested and started receding slowly. The level at Gurnee has continued to rise slightly, with the crest expected tomorrow morning. Some scattered storms are possible today and tonight, with spotty locations of a quarter-inch to a half-inch of rain possible. These storms can both form and dissipate quickly, so it is rather difficult to have a good gauge on how much precipitation to expect.
Across the county, residents have been cleaning up flooded basements, and most streets that had been closed because of water from the storms and flash flooding Friday night are now re-opened.
Very hot and humid weather is forecast for the first part of this week, with heat indices near 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) Tuesday and Wednesday. Commonwealth-Edison reports that system-wide they have restored power to nearly all of the more than 240,000 customers that lost power during the storms Friday night.
Along the Des Plaines at Russell, water surrounds several homes and has inundated several outbuildings. Some sandbagging was completed in Gurnee yesterday, where Village Staff and responders filled sandbags and placed protective barriers around the lowest portion of the Gurnee Grade School on Kilbourne, around a few houses adjacent to Warren High School, and at some homes on Emerald.
Water currently covers most of Emerald between Kilbourne and Old Grand. With uncertainty about the eventual crest height of the Des Plaines river in Gurnee, Village officials are prepared to take additional action should that become necessary, and are coordinating with Stormwater Management and Emergency Management, though no additional protective action is currently planned.
The Fox River above the Chain O’Lakes at New Munster appears to have crested and is forecast to be below its 10-foot flood stage by Wednesday morning. The higher-than-normal flows on the Fox and heavy rain over all the watershed for the other tributaries to the Chain O’Lakes brought the lakes stage up from 4.25 feet to 5.52 feet.
As inflows continue to exceed outflows, a continued slow rise in Chain levels is expected, perhaps into Tuesday. Above-normal outflows from the Chain O’Lakes have caused the lower Fox River to flow out-of-bank in some places, and the Fox Waterway Agency has restricted the entire system to “no-wake” status.
County personnel are continuing to compile damage reports and photograph the effects of this weather event, and are coordinating with Municipal and Township officials to address needs as they arise.
Lake County Public Works is closely monitoring water levels on the Des Plaines around North Libertyville Estates off Route 137 in Libertyville, but the river is not expected to rise to levels that threaten overtopping the levee there.
Please call Stormwater Management at 847-918-5260 to report local flooding conditions in your area. To report damage or request resources, please contact your local Emergency Management Agency or Lake County EMA. Lake County EMA can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 847-377-7100, or nights and weekends through the Lake County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center at 847-549-5200 (ask to have the on-call Lake County EMA person contact you back).
For more info on flooding alerts, click here to get to the stormwater page at Lake County's website.