Resource center helps flood victims in north suburbs

ALGONQUIN, Ill. (WLS) -- A resource center opened Thursday in Round Lake Beach to help residents impacted by the severe flooding along the Fox and Des Plaines river.

Meanwhile, concern grows as heavy rains are predicted Friday through the weekend, which could complicate the flooding issues even though the rivers have started to recede.

On Thursday, many Lake County residents stood in line at the flood resource center, which is called MARC - a multi-agency resource center. The center is located inside a vacant grocery store.

"The victims of this disaster are not shopping around having to go from place to place. They can come to one location and get almost all their questions answered," said James Joseph, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

The center, located at 965 E. Rollins Rd., is a partnership between the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Northeast Illinois Community Organizations Active in Disasters.

"We've already had almost 40 people come through today. We're going to be open the next three days and here to support the community as needed," said Celena Roldan.

Beyond the obvious resources and support, there are counselors, housing and insurance information offered here. There were even therapy dogs hoping to help.

"The dogs are comforting for people who are in crisis and for people who are frustrated and bored waiting to get done what they have to get done," said Donna Head, of Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy.

The damage and destruction that hit communities along the Fox and Des Plaines rivers left many residents without resources of hope.

"It's everything because I'm disabled and the funds are not there. Thank God for the community," said flood victim Roslyn Finch.

Some lost things that can't be replaced.

"Our son passed away about 24 years ago. All the stuff he had was in the garage and it's all got wrecked," said Shirley Lugo.

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Some events in Algonquin along the Fox River have had to be canceled due to the severe flooding.

In Algonquin, their park along the Fox River has been closed for the second week and a planned concert in the park has also been nixed due to flooding.

Next week's Founder's Day celebrations -- which draws tens of thousands of people - will be relocated a mile away from the park.

"Is it dry now? It could be, but is it going to stay that way? We don't know. Only Mother Nature knows and we are not willing to gamble on that," said Sue Bazdor, of the Algonquin Founder's Day.

Fireworks on a barge on the Fox River is usually part of the Founder's Day events, but even though waters are receding it's unknown whether that will still be a possibility.

Boating traffic on the Fox River is gone, which is a blow to local businesses.

"It's unfortunate to lose the business but safety is of the utmost importance," said Charles Kaskadden, who is the general manager of Port Edward Restaurant.

Residents continue to grapple with the floodwaters. About 25,000 sandbags have been provided, but some residents have opted to leave or, at least, move some of their belongings.

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