Des Plaines, Gurnee rivers remain in flood warning stage

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - Limited flooding is expected to continue Saturday along the Des Plaines and Gurnee rivers, which remain in flood warning stage after being pounded by rainfall earlier this week.

The Des Plaines River at Des Plaines was at 18.26 feet at 9:45 a.m. Saturday.  The river crested at 19.83 feet last Sunday, and was expected to rise to about 18.9 feet by 1 p.m. Saturday. Flood stage is 15 feet.

At Gurnee, the Des Plaines was at 9.53 feet as of 9:30 a.m. Saturday. It crested at 12.09 feet Monday, and was expected to drop to 9.4 feet by early Monday morning. Flood stage is 7 feet.

The Fox River was at 13 feet as of 9:30 a.m. Saturday, after cresting at 12.82 feet early Thursday. It is expected to reach 13.2 feet by 1 p.m. Saturday. Flood stage is 9.5 feet.

For those impacted by flooding seeking resources or services, the Multi-Agency Resource Center opened Friday at 965 E. Rollins Rd. in  Round Lake Beach. It was scheduled to be open until 6 p.m. Friday, but “for safety reasons” was closing early due to the threat of severe weather. It is scheduled to reopen from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.

Residents affected by the flooding can meet regional and statewide disaster organizations, including the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Illinois Department of Insurance and other groups for assistance and information. Information on clean-up assistance will be provided, and the health department will have free water testing kits for those with wells.

The Salvation Army has also set up a toll-free Donation Hotline at (888) 369-1349 for those who wish to donate items.

Gov. Bruce Rauner also announced that the state will waive penalties and interest for taxpayers who cannot file or pay property taxes on time as a result of the floods for taxes payable July 11 and Dec. 31.
“Our communities dealing with the unprecedented flooding in northern Illinois should focus on their loved ones and neighbors, not tax deadlines,” Rauner said. “Once these impacted families and businesses have had the time to recover, they can gather the necessary paperwork and file their returns and pay taxes.”

Four counties have been added to a state disaster proclamation, including Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry.

A significant thunderstorm risk is expected Saturday for Chicago and the surrounding area, with the chance of quarter-sized hail, the weather service said. In addition, a limited tornado risk that could bring winds up to 60 mph is also in effect, as well as an excessive heat risk.

Although morning rain and thunderstorms will likely diminish Saturday and move southeast of the Chicago area, new thunderstorms are also expected to move in south of Interstate 80, with some of the storms likely to produce large hail and damaging winds, the weather service said. Heavy rainfall will also possibly be coupled with storms Saturday afternoon, mainly south of the city.

An elevated severe thunderstorm risk will be in effect from Sunday through Friday, with flooding likely to continue along affected rivers, the weather service said.

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