By Bob Uphues
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Des Plaines River at Riverside after heavy rains in recent days, including a heavy downpour overnight on May 14-15.
The river rose by nearly a foot between 4 and 9 a.m. on Friday morning and passed the flood action stage of 7 feet during that time. At 8:45 a.m. the river level at Riverside was 7.23 feet. Minor flood stage hits at 7.5 feet, and affects low-lying forest preserve and park areas next to the river.
While the National Weather Service's model is estimating a crest of 8.5 feet by sometime early Saturday morning, the river appears to be tracking lower than that, although that could change if there is more rain today.
Riverside Public Works has closed the walking path along Swan Pond Park, not because of high water, but because a tree near the WPA seating area has uprooted and is leaning over the path in that area.
There is some standing water in the lowest area of the park near the drainage culvert, but the park generally does not experience flooding until the river level tops 7.3 feet.
If the river does reach 8.5 feet, which is considered moderate flood stage, it could begin impacting the low-lying area of First Avenue near the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad bridge.
At this time, First Avenue is clear.