Gurnee residents prepare for possible flooding

Residents living near the Des Plaines River are preparing for flooding as they closely watch the weather forecast for the next few days.

The emergency management coordinator for Lake County says by Friday, the river could crest as high as 3 1/2 feet over flood level.

The river is spilling over the banks and rising at a steady pace. Rainfall all day isn’t helping the situation.  Homeowners and businesses in low-lying areas are bracing for serious flooding.  In Gurnee at the Public Works building, about two dozen volunteers are packing sand bags.  Village workers then load them onto trucks and take them to nearby homes and buildings.

Joe Hiatt is owner of Tech Systems, a private security company in Gurnee.  He says last time it flooded, workers dropped off sandbags and his employees did the heavy lifting. This year, in addition to sandbags, the village is putting up concrete barriers and plastic tarps around buildings that could see serious flooding.

flood“They’re doing it more professionally this time,” he says. “Instead of just passing out sandbags, they’re actually building a wall that will hold the water.  It’ll probably save a lot of insurance claims around here because of high water, the recovery will be faster.”

Homeowners are also preparing.  Many who live near the river have requested stockpiles of sandbags.  Emergency officials are calling this a moderate flood event.  But they say people in the area should keep a very close eye on their property and take all necessary precautions.

Gurnee residents can call the flood hotline at 847-599-6640 for assistance and/or to request sandbags.  They can also pick up sandbags at the Gurnee Public Works facility 1151 Kilborne Rd.

Lake County officials will hold a news conference tomorrow at 11 a.m.

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