Flooding possible with warm up on the way

February 16, 2014 (CHICAGO)

This week will bring the area the warmest weather in almost a month, and that could lead to some localized flooding. The wildcard in that is the rain expected on Thursday.

The ice dam on Ken Wilson's house is awesome. But he would like it to go away, and perhaps this week, some of it will.

"Hopefully it'll go away, but I heard another weather storm is coming so who knows?" he said.

Of greater concern to Wilson is what's out back of his Lincolnshire home. The Des Plaines River is a picture of tranquility Sunday, but is about to be fed by warmth.

This neighborhood had flooding last April, and they're not keen on a repeat. The temperatures in the 40's ahead will not make for a rapid melt, but Thursday will present rain as well, and that could mean some localized flooding.

"The greater amount of rain we get the less will be absorbed, and then the problem is we have such a deep frost depth right now that rain won't absorb into the ground so it'll immediately turn to run-off," Matt Friedlein, National Weather Service.

Public works crews will be busy this week making sure the run-off has a place to run to, in streets and parking lots where the monuments to winter will slowly shrink.

"You would choose melting as opposed to more snow, I presume," Stephanie Paulsen said. "Absolutely melting. I'm ready for spring. I've been ready the last two months."

But dare not say the "melt" word to the snowmobilers of Fox Lake where this winter has been one of the best ever.

Let it not end, they would say, and it won't for a while, because the ice here is two feet thick. So a few days above freezing? No big deal.

"As long as we get more snow, we'll take the warmth for a little while, but snow, snow, snow," said Jackie Kelly.

That wish for snow, snow, snow will be granted Monday, then the warm-up, then the rain, then the chill returns once again.

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