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Kankakee River near Wilmington under flood advisory

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:30 p.m. CDT

A flood advisory for the Kankakee River near Wilmington is in effect until Saturday and for the Illinois River in Morris until Thursday afternoon after river levels rose because of a snowstorm Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday the Illinois River in Morris was about 12.5 feet, and projected to get to 13 feet by 3 p.m. Thursday and then steadily decline. At 13 feet, Stratton Park in Morris will begin to flood, according to the National Weather Service.

The Kankakee River is expected to rise to 5.3 feet by early Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage is 6.5 feet. At 5 feet, minor lowland flooding begins in areas immediately adjacent to the Kankakee River.

Dennis Houseman, Wilmington director for the Will County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency, said although there’s no immediate cause for concern, residents along the Kankakee River are “not out of the woods yet.”

“We got a lot of snow last night, and the snow melts and can’t soak into the ground right now since the ground is still frozen,” Houseman said Tuesday.

The potential for flooding and ice damage is possible with ice still piled up along the shoreline leftover from January and February’s snowfall and record-breaking cold temperatures, he said.

Residents should take precautions and not drive through flooded roadways, he said.

Northwest of Wilmington in Grundy County, about 5.2 inches fell, according to the National Weather Services which has a snow reading in Carbon Hill.

Tuesday night’s storm, which resulted in hail in parts of Morris, also caused power outages in the area. Roughly 40,000 ComEd customers were without power in the northern Illinois area as of lunch time Wednesday, with more than 30 customers in Grundy County were affected, according to the company’s outage map. By late afternoon there were still about 19,000 customers without power in areas in the southern region, according to ComEd.

During the morning and afternoon hours Wednesday, traffic lights were out along Illinois 47 through Morris.

Despite the snow and outages, the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department and Morris police reported no serious accidents.

“The guys said early [Wednesday] morning it got nasty when the wind picked up and we had a few powerlines go down,” Sheriff Kevin Callahan said Wednesday afternoon.

Due to the weather area schools canceled, and with down lines in the Nettle Creek area, Nettle Creek School had to cancel because of the weather and power outage, the sheriff said.

“We have a few vehicles in ditches, but nothing serious,” Callahan said.

• Morris Daily Herald staff writer Jessica Bourque contributed to this report.

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