What’s Up with the River? When Will it Reopen?

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.

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Photo from Ken Holden, showing the flood gates wide open at Starved Rock Lock & Dam

Pork Chop Dinner – July 11 – With Live Band

Sign up now for the Pork Chop Dinner on July 11. Dinner is served from 6pm to 8pm, followed by live entertainment provided by Sh’Bang. Please RSVP by Sunday, July 5th. Email s.r.y.c.reservation.dinner@gmail.com or use the sign up sheet in the clubhouse.

Sh’Bang, from Chicago, plays a great mix of high-energy rock tunes from across the decades. Don’t miss it! http://www.shbangchicago.com/index.html

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Weekend Update

Well, the good news is that the river gauge in Ottawa is showing nearly a 3 foot drop since the water crested on Wednesday. The Lasalle County Highway Department confirmed that Dee Bennett Road is now open.

Unfortunately, the water level is still a few feet above normal, the current is swift and the river is junky, so there won’t be much boating this weekend. Our neighbors downstream in Henry and Peoria will be dealing with their own high water crest over the weekend.

Saturday’s Summer Solstice Sunset Cruise (tagline: Longest Day, Shortest Cruise) will have to be cancelled, but Saturday night will be outdoor movie night, on the lower level patio. We’ll bring the popcorn and movies, you bring a chair.

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