The Illinois DNR has closed the entire length of the Illinois River — nearly 300 miles of water. River level predictions show that the Ottawa pool will fall to within about a foot of normal by July 4th, but is that enough to reopen the river for Saturday and Sunday? Good question.
Meanwhile downriver things are much worse. In Havana, the crest is predicted to come Friday and Saturday, to within a few inches of the all-time high water record. In other towns downstate, such as Meredosia and Beardstown, the water is expected to exceed the April, 2013 records. Sandbagging, anyone?
Update: Thursday a.m. Major flooding downriver sets new records.
Update: Thursday p.m. water.weather.gov predicts the river at Ottawa to be back to normal levels by Saturday afternoon.
New record set at Meredosia
Update: The river is open down to Lacon as of 3pm Thursday.
At Spring Valley Boat Club access by road will have been cut off for 3 entire weeks as of Monday. The water and power is off, the kitchen is closed and fuel dock & pump out are shut down.
Some parking and other facilities are closed at Starved Rock State Park.
It’s good to remember that the river was actually meant to spread out. It’s been forced into a narrow channel, especially up north, and runoff from roads, parking lots and roofs in developed areas make the situation worse. All that water has to go you-know-where. The Peoria Journal-Star featured this article recently.
Maybe we need to rethink the whole flood plain map to account for heavier rains and more run-off, according to a study discussed in the Washington Post.