ALGONQUIN, Ill. — Severe thunderstorms that brought heavy rain, hail and strong winds to northern Illinois have exacerbated recent flooding in some areas.
The storms moved through Sunday, causing the already-swollen Fox River to rise again after it had previously started receding. Flooding also was reported in western Illinois, where the Rock and Mississippi rivers spilled their banks.
Flooding started earlier this month, prompting state disaster declarations. And, organizers of the Algonquin Founders’ Days Festivals, scheduled to begin Thursday, said that flooding along the Fox River forced them to cancel the event for the first time in its 57-year history.
“It’s upsetting, but that’s what’s best for the community at this point,” said Founders’ Days Festival board member Sue Bazdor, who also suggested to the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald that holding the festival would put a strain on the village’s police force, fire department and public works department, who are already stretch thin responding to the flooding in the region.
In Crystal Lake, the afternoon storm sent children and their parents attending a baseball tournament running to their cars to protect them from the pelting rain and hail, winds strong enough to shake the vehicles, until it passed several minutes later. When they drove off, they had to maneuver around large branches and whole trees that topped over during the storm.
Diana Wood told WLS-TV more water crept into the basement of the Algonquin home that she’s been moving out of, with it rising Sunday to knee level after earlier being ankle-deep.
Over the weekend, the city of St. Charles closed the Illinois Street Bridge and the Indiana Street Pedestrian Bridge due to the rising Fox River. The city says the bridges could be closed until midweek.
Flooding continued along portions of the Des Plaines river, with levels expected to recede this week.
Flooding was also reported in western Illinois, with the waters of the Rock River at Moline reaching nearly 15 feet, three feet above flood stage. It was expected the river will crest Tuesday at 16 feet.
At Rock Island, the Mississippi River was at 15.54 feet with a crest of 16.4 feet expected Tuesday. Flood stage is 15 feet.
Flooding was also reported along the Green River at Geneseo.
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday issued a state disaster proclamation for Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson and Whiteside counties.
Rauner said the state has provided 175,000 sandbags to communities in northwestern Illinois to protect critical infrastructure, including a waste water treatment facility in Ogle County and Dixon High School in Lee County. He added the disaster proclamation will ensure continued state support to communities as they fight floodwaters.