Kane declares disaster as northern portions hit hard by Fox flooding

Chronicle Media

dAs Fox River waters pour over the Montgomery Dam it created great conditions for fishing as four anglers tested their fortunes along the east banks of the Fox River last Friday. Extra flows caused by rains in McHenry and Lake counties send waters south along the river and Montgomery and Oswego sites along the river reached flood levels but overflows were mostly confined to parks and recreation paths. (Photo by Jack McCarthy / Chronicle Media)Kane County declared a state of disaster late last week as water continued to flow over the banks of the Fox River.

Authorized by Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen upon the recommendation of the Kane County Office of Emergency Management, the declaration took effect last Friday and lasts for seven days.

“On the night of July 11 to the morning of July 12, multiple waves of thunderstorms moved across southern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois as substantial rainfall amounts resulted,” the proclamation states. “Due to this fact, extreme flooding is forecast along the Fox River, which is expected to reach major flood stage levels in Kane County by this weekend.”

According to the latest information from the National Weather Service Chicago, the Fox River at Algonquin tailwater was the hardest hit of any location in the Chicago area. The village of Algonquin declared a state of disaster  last Thursday.

The tailwater was presently expected to crest at 13 feet — a full foot over the major flood stage — by Monday or Tuesday.

Office of Emergency Management Director Don Bryant said the declaration of disaster is important for a number of reasons.

“The disaster declaration will serve to activate the county’s emergency operations plans along with helping residents to qualify for federal disaster assistance should the county qualify for such aid,” he said.

As the level of the Fox River continues to rise, people needing sandbags should first check with their municipality for availability. If sandbags are not available from a municipality, citizens can get them at the Kane County Highway garage located at 41W011 Burlington Road in Campton Hills.

Two rescued after currents forced kayaks over St. Charles dam 

St. Charles fire personnel rescued two kayakers who were forced over a downtown dam by swift Fox River currents late last Friday.

One person was injured while the second declined treatment.

Fire personnel were dispatched to the area of the Main Street Bridge and arrived at 7:33 p.m. last Friday to find the two unidentified persons had gone over the dam and were in distress.

“One subject had struck a rock and was injured,” the Fire Department reported in a statement. “He was able to make it to shore behind the BMO Harris Bank at Walnut and Riverside Avenues. The other subject had been carried by the current to the bridge at Illinois and Riverside Avenues.”

The kayakers reportedly entered the rain-swollen river — already at high levels due to heavy storms earlier in the week in Lake and McHenry County — at Pottawatomie Park north of downtown. Neither individual was wearing a helmet, personal flotation device or safety equipment of any kind, according to the fire department.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources had closed the river to boating from the Chain O’ Lakes to the Montgomery Dam due to high waters and significant dangers posed by swift currents, floating debris, submerged structures and piers.

Bystanders along the riverfront notified police that the kayakers were having difficulty and an officer notified the Fire Department, which dispatched  personnel to assist in a rescue including a dive team.

Personnel from Geneva and South Elgin fire departments aided in the rescue.

The injured person was transported to Delnor Hospital for treatment. His condition was not reported.





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