Swollen Fox River closed to boaters until Tuesday

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (WLS) -- It's dry now, but recent rain has left several area rivers swollen and flooded in some parts of the Chicago area.

High, fast moving waters are making several area rivers treacherous - and they are popular spots for people who beat the heat.

It may look picturesque and serene, but the Fox River is anything but following so much rain. The deceptiveness of this body of water is what concerns the St. Charles fire chief.

"The underlining currents are very strong. It is very easy to get caught up and pulled down current," said St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet.

Even though the water has receded, it remained level Thursday with the bike and walking path that runs through town. With a flood warning in effect for the next few days, the path is closed.

"If you are walking or riding a bicycle and make an error in judgement, you can go off the bike path and into river and because of the current you can be swept away," Schelstreet explained.

The fast-moving current - combined with debris, such as large branches - is why the Department of Natural Resources is not allowing boat traffic of any kind on the Fox River from Algonquin to Montgomery until Tuesday.

"We had lots of trips scheduled, we lost 11 over just last weekend," said Rich Anderson, the owner of St. Charles Paddlewheel River Boats.

Anderson said between last week and canceled trips this weekend, his 45-year-old family business is expected to lose tens of thousands of dollars. Anderson said for years it was rare to have his boats sit idle because of weather, but not anymore.

"It seems more and more common. I think climate change makes weather more severe, more storms, more rainfall, it happens more often," he said.
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