Flood waters continue to rise along Fox River

ByLaura Podesta and Cate Cauguiran WLS logo
Monday, July 17, 2017
Flooding continues in north suburbs
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Water levels are expected to rise along the swollen Fox River in areas already hard hit with flooding.

FOX LAKE, Ill. (WLS) -- Water levels are expected to rise along the swollen Fox River in areas already hard hit with flooding.

Gov. Bruce Rauner toured the damage Sunday in Algonquin. He also added Cook County to the state disaster proclamation, which provides state resources - including sandbags, sand, pumps, trucks and other heavy equipment -- to those impacted by the flooding. On Friday, Rauner issued a disaster proclamation for Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

Flooding has also closed down major businesses and institutions in the north suburbs.

Oakton Community College in Des Plaines will remain closed Monday due to flooded parking lots. Golf and Central roads are also closed. The campus buildings are dry, but the college has been closed since Thursday. The Skokie campus has remained open.

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital will also be remain closed Monday. Crews are cleaning up from the flooding before full hospital operations get back up. Ambulances are being re-routed and people must go to other locations for emergency treatment.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Fox Lake families continued to watch water levels and used hundreds of sandbags to protect their homes from the swollen Fox River.

The area around Dave Battaglia's garage and yard were pretty dry on Friday, but on Saturday, pumps were constantly pouring water out of his yard. He and friends and family were trying to build a wall between his property and the unrelenting floodwater with sandbags.

It's not over yet, as the water is supposed to keep going up, rise by eight to nine inches by Tuesday.

Fox Lake Village Administrator Anne Marin said this is the worst flooding she has ever seen. She is directing people to Fox Lake's Facebook page to find the closes location to pick up sandbags. She said she is thankful for volunteers that are helping shuttle people by boat to their homes.

"We are constantly putting out communication. We have an emergency e-news that we blast out each day, several times a day and we'll continue to do that so residents can look at those places and know what to do," Marin said.

She said the village is receiving state aid.

Joe Dopp of Aerial Chicago Photography flew his drone around Fox Lake, showing homes surrounded by water and docks under the lake.

"I've been up here since 1998 and this is the worst I have seen," said Dopp. "A lot, a lot, a lot of money lost by people and a lot of money lost revenue for the Chain-O-Lakes.

On Saturday, the Des Plaines River crested at a record 12 feet and volunteers filled up and then used a front-end loader to bring those sandbags to properties threatened by the water. The river is expected to go down six inches in Gurnee by Monday morning.

"They don't have anything some of these people. They've never been in situations like this," said Michelle Bauman, executive director of the Avon Township Food Pantry.

The Avon Township Food Pantry in Grayslake has asked for help in assisting flood victims. The pantry is seeking cleaning supplies, garbage bags, power towels, food, clothing, toilet paper, toothpaste, baby wipes, home goods, blankets, bed sheets, non-perishable foods and more.

The pantry will be sharing with other locations in Lake County. Donations can be dropped off at the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Office:783 N. Barron Blvd, (Rte 83), Grayslake, IL, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.