WILMINGTON, Ill. (CBS) — The Kankakee River saw a significant reduction in water levels Saturday, after an ice jam break caused major flooding in Wilmington and forced more than a dozen residents to evacuate.
The Will County Emergency Management Agency reported most of the ice jams between the city of Wilmington and the Des Plaines River confluence had cleared by Saturday. Water levels as of 10:45 a.m. Saturday measured 6.89 feet, the agency said.
A flash flood warning issued for the area expired Saturday morning, but a flood watch and flood warnings will remain in effect until noon Monday.
Residents are also reminded that conditions on the river can still change rapidly.
Meanwhile, all major roads in Wilmington were back open Saturday, but the North and South Island parks in Wilmington remained closed. The City of Wilmington is also still maintaining a citywide boil order for all who are serviced by the city’s water supply.
Any water used for drinking or cooking should be boiled for five minutes first, the Will County EMA said.
On Friday amid the flooding, rescue teams had to be deployed, and 14 people were evacuated from the area. Officials said about 200 homes along the river were at risk at the time.
One of the residents who evacuated called the situation “devastating.”
“I was on my way home from work at about 10:50. I got home, and right here, it [the river] was starting to come up a bit. I decided to come back outside to look, and now it’s just flooded,” resident Daniel Beck said Friday. “Very bad, it’s devastating all these homes.”
About 12 miles of ice jammed up the river, one of the largest ever seen on the Kankakee River. As the ice melted, it not only caused flooding along the river – but the remaining chunks of ice posed a risk to buildings and other structures along the river as flowed downstream.
Source: CBS News