Weather Chicago: Flash Flood Warning issued for Will, Grundy counties; Dense Fog Advisory for area

Will County officials warn residents of melting Kankakee River ice jam; Ground stop lifted at O'Hare

ByCate Cauguiran and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, January 26, 2024
Residents along Kankakee River brace for flash flooding
Between the rain and the melting ice jam, residents along the Kankakee River are bracing for sudden flooding. A Flash Flood Warning is in effect for Willi and Grundy counties.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Flash Flood Warning is in effect for Will and Grundy counties until 9:15 a.m. Saturday.

The National Weather Service said an ice jam break on the Kankakee River near Wilmington appears to be imminent.

Around 1,200 people could be impacted by flooding in the area.

Will County and Wilmington officials said the top priority is making sure residents are aware that with the warmer temperature and rain that conditions along the river could change quickly and everyone should be prepared.

Rain moving into the area Thursday night was also a big point of concern for flash flooding, especially when combined with the melting ice jam.

Some home could already be seen surrounded by water by Thursday afternoon. Some residents prepped by putting sandbags around their homes.

Tyler Rodgers lives in the Pehlan Acres community, which is at a higher risk of flooding. He lives farther from the river bank, but is already getting standing water near his garage.

"Water is starting to seep through the cracks but it doesn't usually pool up like this because we usually drain into the Kankakee," he said. "All of our houses here are built on drains that run out to the Kankakee River but right now with all of that being frozen the water is not moving out the way it normally would."

In downtown Wilmington, a park flooded from rising water levels.

The Will County Emergency Management Agency aid they anticipate the ice jam along the Kankakee River to break up soon, and combined with warming temperatures and the rain, it has the potential to create increased dangerous flood conditions from Wilmington to the Phelan Acres community.

Officials continue to warn residents to be aware and prepared to quickly take action if necessary. Will County Emergency Management has already put out a reserve 911 call to residents.

It is currently a waiting game, but with the rain to come, officials are nervous but prepared.

The Chicago weather forecast Thursday includes a Dense Fog Advisory, and Flash Flood Warning for some near the Kankakee River ice jam.

Also on Thursday, a ground stop was lifted for arrivals at Chicago's O'Hare airport in the morning, as a Dense Fog Advisory was issued for the area throughout the day.

The ground stop went into effect about 8:15 a.m., and expired about 9:30 a.m.

A Dense Fog Advisory is in effect for the area until 10 p.m. Thursday.

The ground stop was in effect due to low visibility.

RELATED: Chicago weather: Overnight freezing rain, icy conditions cause spinouts, crashes across area

As of about 6 p.m., there were a total 168 cancelations at O'Hare Thursday, with 15-minute delays. There were 105 cancelations at Midway, with less than 15-minute delays.

Thursday's foggy day comes after a period of extreme cold and snow earlier this month.

The Chicago area is expected to have a lot of snowmelt soon, as temperatures warm up, ABC7 Chicago meteorologist Tracy Butler said.

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