FORD COUNTY, Ill. – heavy rainfall drenched downstate Gibson City, causing flash flooding and forcing more than 100 residents out of their homes.
Severe weather brought nearly nine inches of rain to the southwest Chicago area in the past 12 hours. The downpour had many residents wading through waist-high floodwaters in some areas. Roadways were considered “impassable,” and in some areas, residents were evacuated due to high water.
The main roads through town – Illinois 54 and 47 – were both shut down.
“A ton of rain in a little bit of time. I’ve no idea how much. I was at work and got a call to come home,” said resident Howard Curry. “In the house, my wife says about 3’5″ feet [of rain].”
Roadways turned into rivers as neighbors, with rescue boats in hand, helped homeowners and pets get to higher and dryer ground.
The heavy rainfall couldn’t have come at a worse time for new lease owner Richard March.
“I just rented this place the other day and came over to check on it and I’ve got 3 feet of water in the backyard and it’s flooding into the house,” March said.
March, like Curry, said the rain came down incredibly fast.
“It only happened in about an hour and a half’s time. That’s what it took to flood my entire backyard,” March said.
City officials are asking residents to avoid the area unless necessary.