Illinois expands disaster proclamation; more floods possible

ALGONQUIN, Ill. — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has added Cook County to a state disaster proclamation amid flooding in the northern portion of the state and warned that evacuations could take place this week.

Rauner gave an update Sunday while touring the community of Algonquin, where the Fox River is expected to rise Monday. He says local officials could call for evacuations near the river in Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook counties.

Rauner issued a state disaster proclamation Friday for Lake, McHenry and Kane counties. It followed storms that hit last week. Floodwaters began to recede over the weekend along the Des Plaines River.

The disaster proclamation makes a wide variety of state resources available, including sandbags, pumps and trucks.

Lake County officials warn traffic problems are expected Monday amid flood-related road closures.

When you've lived through five floods, you have things down to a science.

“You start with plastic you lay it down a bag line and make your wall. You have to dig holes put in pumps,” Jennifer Osterman-Keyes, flood victim said. “I think we're okay as long as we keep filling the pumps up. It's an around the clock thing these gas pumps run about four hours on a tank.

Osterman-Keyes lives on the banks of Griswold Lake in Holiday Hills, Ill., with a channel behind her home connecting to the Fox River, a one-two punch when it comes to flooding.

“This is spring fed and now the river is feeding this also and they're in a lower land this is why the water is spreading,” Lou French, Holiday Hills Village president said.

Village President Lou French said about two dozen homes are on the verge of being breached by water.

Some residents can only get in and out by boat.

“I've talked to local fire departments a great rescue team out here if I need to call upon them I will. They'll show up in boats from all over and we'll start evacuating,” French said.

So far, the city, with help from neighbors, have delivered 30,000 sand bags to residents there.

Shane Gatza helped his friend, dropping off a stronger pump for him, he was back in his boat to hook it up and protect his home.

Getting help to those who now need it most is getting difficult.
“Trying to get them sand is really hard that house is bad too because the street is four, five feet deep you can't just drive sand to them you have to take bags at a time by boat so it's been a lot of work,” Gatza said.