Des Plaines River at Riverside reaches record level Thursday


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By Bob Uphues


4:06 p.m. - From Village of BrookfieldThe Village has contacted our waste and recycling vendor Groot.  Residents can put out water damaged items for pick-up free of charge through next Friday, April 26.  Please place all items where you normally place your trash. Electronics can be recycled at Village hall during this same time period.

Please place used sandbags on the public parkway and the Department of Public Works will pick them up over the next week.

3:17 p.m. - As of 1:45 p.m. Des Plaines River at Riverside dropped to 10.54 feet. 

Brookfield Zoo has also announced they will reopen Saturday after being closed for two days due to the flooding. On Saturday the zoo will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission will be free, but visitors will still pay for parking.

11:19 a.m. - The Des Plaines River at Riverside continues to slowly drop. At 10:45 a.m. the level was at 10.82 feet.

9:47 a.m. - Gov. Pat Quinn will speak at a press conference at the water tower in Riverside Friday morning. The National Weather Service reports the Des Plaines River in Riverside is now at 10.92 feet as of 9:45 a.m.

Friday, April 19, 8:30 a.m. - The Des Plaines River in Riverside crested at 11.42 feet around midnight, according to the National Weather Service. As of 7:45 a.m., the water had receded to 11.04 feet and was expected to continue dropping throughout the next two days. The river is not expected to recede below flood stage until sometime late Monday night.

Streets remain closed throughout the area, including Ogden Avenue from First Avenue to Lawndale. First Avenue remains closed between 31st Street and Ogden Avenue, and 31st Street is still closed between First Avenue and Prairie Avenue.

In Riverside, Forest Avenue remains closed to traffic, along with West, Groveland, Lincoln and a portion of Fairbank Road. Southbound Woodside Road is closed at 31st Street, but may soon reopen to traffic, according to Riverside Village Manager Peter Scalera.

Schools throughout the area are closed on Friday, including Riverside-Brookfield High School. Elementary schools closed today include all schools in Riverside District 96, schools in Brookfield-LaGrange Park District 95, Lincoln School in Brookfield, St. Louise School in LaGrange Park and St. Paul Lutheran School in Brookfield.

Congress Park School in Brookfield and Komarek School in North Riverside are open.

11:22 p.m. - The Des Plaines River at Riverside may have finally reached its peak. At 10:45 p.m. the level was holding at 11.2 feet, the same level measured an hour earlier.

10:25 p.m. - The Des Plaines River at Riverside continued its record-breaking rise Thursday, reaching 11.2 feet at 9:45 p.m.

9:33 p.m. - The Des Plaines River at Riverside continues to rise Thursday, reaching 11.15 feet at 8:45 p.m. 

8:23 p.m. - At 7:45 p.m. the Des Plaines River at Riverside had risen to 10.98 feet. The National Weather Service has issued a new prediction that the river will crest at 11.4 feet early Friday morning.

Riverside-Brookfield High School and District 96 schools have announced on their websites that classes are canceled for Friday.

5:26 p.m. - As of 4:45 p.m. the Des Plaines River at Riverside had risen to 10.64 feet. The National Weather Service predicts that the river will crest at 11.1 feet early Friday morning.

4:51 p.m. - From Riverside Police DepartmentThe National Weather service is predicting the Des Plaines River to crest at a record amount of 11.1 feet tomorrow morning. Severe flooding is occurring in the Village of Riverside. The Village is evacuating the following affected areas: Groveland, Park Place, Lincoln, West, and portions of Waubansee, Forbes, Parkview, Kimbark, Pine, Maplewood, and Fairbank. Fire Department personnel will assist those residents at this time with evacuating their homes but personnel may be unable to assist at a later time. Sandbags are available at the Village Hall parking lot. Please do not enter flooded areas and stay clear from the Des Plaines River.

4:31: p.m. - As of 3:45 p.m. the Des Plaines River at Riverside had risen to 10.41 feet. The National Weather Service has issued a new prediction that the river will crest at 11.1 feet early Friday morning.

4:28 p.m. - Des Plaines River flood waters affecting traffic in both directions on Cermack Road just west of Desplaines Avenue in North Riverside.

3:53 p.m. - As of 2:45 p.m. the Des Plaines River at Riverside was measured at 10.22 feet.

1:56 p.m. - From Riverside Police Department -The Village has received a delivery of sand and sandbags in the parking lot between the Library and the Township Hall. Residents are welcome to use these materials as needed. Additional supplies have been ordered and volunteers will be needed to assist with sandbagging this afternoon. Additional information will be available shortly.

1:26 p.m. At 12:45 p.m. the Des Plaines River at Riverside reached 9.99 feet.

12:44 p.m. The National Weather Service reports the Des Plaines River at Riverside is at 9.69 feet. They still predict the river to crest at 10.5 feet on Friday morning.

Riverside-Brookfield High School will release students at 12:15 today. Students getting picked up by their parents will be escorted to the north Gate where they will be picked up. Students who drove to RBHS and faculty of Hollywood School will use the Brookfield Zoo's east service road and exit onto 31st Street.

Assisting RBHS staff in the dismissal will be Riverside Police, Riverside Fire, Brookfield Police and Brookfield Zoo Police.

"At about 10:30 I met with the Riverside Police Department, Village Manager, fire department, and Brookfield Police Department," District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis said. "Due to the rising level of the rives there was concern about students being able to get home from the high school. That's why we chose to do a an early dismissal. . . We're worried about student and staff travel at dismissal time."

"We got a roof leak by the main entrance," Skinkis said. "We had to pull some drywall off the ceiling and we had some flooding in the basement, just in some storage closets, and then we got some significant flooding on and track and field turf and in the stadium locker rooms."

District 96 also closed at 12:15 p.m. Thursday.

Riverside Fire Department personnel are making a second door-to-door sweep of the area near West and Pine avenues, encouraging residents to evacuate. Crews from Nicor are on the scene and Riverside has reached out to ComEd in case there is a need to cut power and gas service to that area. In the event that happens, evacuation will be mandatory, said Riverside Village Manager Peter Scalera.

Sand has been delivered to the parking lot between the riverside township hall and library. Residents may take the sand and bags for use at their properties.

First avenue is now closed between 26th Street and Ogden Avenue. Other Riverside streets closed due to flooding include Pine Avenue, West Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Groveland Avenue, Park Place, Forest Avenue,
Forbes Road, Fairbank Road and southbound Woodside south of 31st Street. Waubansee Road and West Quincy Street are one way westbound only.

Vehicles displaced by flooded areas can be parked at the Hauser Junior High lot, the Riverside Swim Club or the Riverside train commuter lot.

10:36 a.m. - As of 9:45 a.m. the Des Plaines River was at 9.2 feet. The National Weather Service now forecasts the river will crest at 10.5 feet.

9:06 a.m. -  Riverside Fire Department is suggesting that any residents living in low areas west of Kimbark Avenue should evacuate due to quickly rising flood water. The evacuation is not mandatory at this time. Groveland Avenue in Riverside closed.

8:42 a.m. - Southbound Desplaines Avenue closed at 31st Street in Riverside.  Lincoln Avenue flooding and closed to traffic in Riverside.


With heavy rains expected to continue throughout the day Thursday, the National Weather Service is now predicting that the Des Plaines River will reach record flood levels in Riverside by 7 a.m. on Friday.

The Des Plaines River is expected to crest at 10.2 feet by Friday morning, although it is tracking slightly higher than that at this time.

At 7:45 a.m. the Des Plaines River had risen to 8.64 feet, which is more than 1.5 feet above flood stage. Flooding has already shut down First Avenue between Ogden Avenue and Forest/Ridgewood and has made other local streets impassable.

West Avenue has reportedly been closed in Riverside, and the intersection of Washington and Prairie avenues in Brookfield is also reportedly under water.

Flood waters are beginning to creep closer to Fairbank Road in Riverside near Indian Gardens, and there is a report that water is beginning to rise on streets between Maple and Eberly avenues from Ogden to the railroad tracks in Brookfield. Low-lying areas subject to flooding during significant rain events are already being impacted by flooding.

The record crest for the Des Plaines River in Riverside is 9.9 feet, a mark set in 1987. The area also experienced significant flooding and property damage in September 2008, when the river reached 9.87 feet. will continue to provide updates throughout the day as more information on the storm's effects become available.

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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Mark Roegner from Brookfield, Illinois  

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 6:12 PM

you got your sewers paid by the village taxes we had to pay for ours for the last 20 years so please put a sock in it

Not so fast Tina  

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 4:56 PM

Oh Mark, you are so funny and predictable. There actually is talk of a class-action lawsuit, if that's the right term. I prefer to just keep my basement empty, raise the essentials--washer/dryer, furnace, hot water heater--and live my life without worrying too much about what the village government does. I blame them but life goes on.


Posted: April 23rd, 2013 4:52 PM

@ not so fast Tina: It certainly wouldn't be the1st time a contractor working in this village performed shoddy work.

Mark Roegner from Brookfield, Illinois  

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 4:27 PM

and if you could prove it you would be suing the village

Not so fast Tina  

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 2:38 PM

I live on Rockefeller, near Hollywood Ave. Ever since street/sewer work was done in 2007/2008, we have flooded basements every single time there's heavy rain. 2008 yes; 2010 yes; 2013 yes; and that is ignoring smaller issues inbetween that require sump pumps but do not do major damage. Do I blame the work done? You bet I do! I've lived here for 13 years, my neighbors over 20, and we all say the same thing. the Village and its contractors messed up this street.

Tina Davis from Brookfield, Illinois  

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 1:55 PM

The sewers have been much better since the imporvements, but this was record flooding....for many villages.

Mark Roegner from Brookfield, Illinois  

Posted: April 22nd, 2013 9:04 PM

the streets were re done but not to handle this kind of flooding

Shawn Heerdt-Amador from Brookfield, Illinois  

Posted: April 22nd, 2013 8:01 PM

I'm confused. Wasn't work done on Monroe between Park and Prairie, that was supposed to widen our sewage systems? Wasn't this to prevent flooding in Brookfield? We need to stand together to ask the City governments of Brookfield and Riverside about their plans to deal with our increasing flood issues.

Absolutely agree.  

Posted: April 22nd, 2013 7:13 PM

It was heart-warming to see so many young volunteers helping with the sandbagging effort. I applaud the students for their acts of kindness and community spirit.

Samantha from Brookfield  

Posted: April 22nd, 2013 2:40 PM

Regardless of whether or not RB closed or not, I think it's very commendable that several RB students were at the Brookfield Public Works building helping residents fill sandbags. They could have been at home playing video games, but instead chose to help their community. Parents of those students should be very proud!

Oh please.  

Posted: April 21st, 2013 10:57 PM

We go to local schools and don't travel farther than 1.5 miles. The news report Thurs morning was that many streets were closed, including stretches of the expressways. Shame on Lamberson for putting the teachers and staff in harms way when he, himself, did not show up for work. Then, in a burst of his typical genius, cancelled class and gave the parents ten minutes notice.TEN MINUTES. He is incompetent, not to mention disrespectful of parents. Where was he and why didn't he show up to work?

Use Your Heads Parents...  

Posted: April 21st, 2013 7:57 PM

Why come on here and complain about what the school did...You are the Parent, if you think it was dangerous..DONT SEND YOUR KID TO SCHOOL......what planet do you live on that you take your kid to school or allow them to go during hazardous conditions...YOU Prents are just as bad as the school trying to get credit for a day...Stop Blaming and look in the mirror...YOU allowed your kids to be put in harms way......Use Your heads...Stop blaming the school and Board

I want to know.  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 3:59 PM

If Janice was the only administrator on staff, where was everyone else? Who was running the show? The teachers and secretary at Ames did great? Where was Colleen? Bob? Mindy? Leslie? ????

St. Mary parent alumni  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 3:50 PM

Was it a question of "toughing it out" at St. Mary's? I know for a fact that many kids in D96 and 208 were worried about their homes and belongings. I'm sure the parents of kids with flooding issues were relieved that their kids came home and were able to help. It warmed my heart to see so many other D96 and 208 kids helping to fill sandbags. Should yesterday have been a "community service" day? "Whatever you do to the least of my brother...." I love St. Mary's, but I disagree they were in class

Demons toughed it out  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 2:01 PM

St. Mary had a full day of school yesterday. Kids from St. Mary come from far and wide to attend that school.

only one  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 1:31 PM

The only administration that was on d96 campus was Janice L at central. I thought the teachers and secretary at Ames did great.

Planning for emergencies  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 12:44 PM

It isn't like they haven't had any dose of the unexpected in 96. Didn't they come up with some sort of emergency dismissal plan a few years ago when had a couple unexected episodes with burst pipes and power outages?

Poor planning by D96  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 12:28 PM

I heard that the dismissal from Central went smoothly. Kids lined up outside with the teacher and as the kids saw their parents, the teacher released them. Why would the older kids have to have their parents sign them out? Something doesn't seem right. I don't know how the other schools handled it. I do know that Hauser kids all called their parents either from their cell phones or the phones in the classrooms. No notice. Very poor planning on their part. And Berman wasn't there. Pathetic.


Posted: April 19th, 2013 11:25 AM

being concerned with issues in your immediate community does not mean you are "whining" or do not have the sense to understand that they are not (with luck) major or even minor tragedies. Please, show some commonsense. Perspective is multi-layered.

Whine much?  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 11:18 AM

How many people were injured yesterday as a result of this Act of God? Think of the people in Boston folks. It's called PERSPECTIVE.

Ron Buczek from North Riverside  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 11:06 AM

It was nice to see everyone pitching in last night. No politics just neighbor helping neighbor.


Posted: April 19th, 2013 11:06 AM

I think we all know where Lamberson was. The question is, will the Board--new or old--do anything about it this time? And will they do anything about Berman. D208 at least communicated that school would be closing more than a hour before it closed and gave specific, if ill-planned directions. D96 made no phone calls. Notification less than 10 minutes before dismissal? Way to go.

Bev from Brookfield  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 11:03 AM

I totally agree with everyone yesterday morning was a disaster! D96 should of handled the situation better! I was driving through alleys to get my child to school! Then to get to work to find out I had to come back and pick them up at NOON! Wow Shame on you who ever was in charge!

Also concerned  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 8:24 AM

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to close the school. Where was Lamberson? Did he ever show up?


Posted: April 19th, 2013 7:02 AM

Was Mrs. Bylsma there? I asked to talk to her and was told it is the Superfloptendent's job to close school.

Emergency Preparedness  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 9:26 PM

Where was the administration at D96? Was Lamberson at any school?Berman wasn't at Hauser today until most of the kids had been picked up. They announced the school closed at 12:15, too. Full day for state's money. Joke. The dismissal at Hauser was a disaster. Good thing it wasn't a real disaster. Parents had to leave their cars to walk in to personally sign kids out? That all took an hour. What if there was a REAL emergency? Berman and Lamberson should have been at the schools at 7AM to plan.


Posted: April 18th, 2013 9:18 PM

You are absolutely right to be angry about how the school day was handled. Perhaps a blue ribbon commission will be spawned from a task force originating from a panel generated by a subcommittee that was asked to look into this by a committee of the school board. They will "take full responsibility",issue a strongly worded statement, write up a report that no one will read, and everyone will be better offf because of it. Until next time.

Poor decision-making  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 8:33 PM

We ruined the suspension in our car wading through streets overflowing with little rivers of water. The measures we and many others had to take to get to the schools was absolutely ridiculous. I am shocked by the poor decision-making of the administrators; there was no apparent regard for the wellbeing of staff and students.

I wonder....  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 7:43 PM

Was Buttimer video taping the roof leak? You can bet if Herbst or Marciniak was the board president he'd be calling for heads to roll because of the safety issue of this dismissal after the roads were closed. Are the kids as important as his board members' reputations? We'll see....


Posted: April 18th, 2013 7:27 PM

RB and 96 announced at about 7 tonight that they are closed tomorrow.


Posted: April 18th, 2013 6:42 PM

So angry that RB's not-so-superintendent cared more about getting credit for a full school day instead of worrying about the safety of our kids wading through ponds to get to school and then getting stranded there while parents were barely able to rescue them. I will be in his office as soon as I can swim over letting him know what a bone-head decision this was.

Tracy Patton from Brookfield  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 4:45 PM

Safety was not the main issue. Staying open for long enough to get credit for the day was. The school let the kids go out through the zoo, to be picked up at the North Gate on 31st to be picked up, WITHOUT CONFIRMING that 31st was open. Just after the school called, the village called, reporting that 31st was closed at Prairie heading east at that time. With the river expected to continue to rise overnight, why hasn't school been cancelled for tomorrow yet? What are they waiting for

Dam removal  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 3:42 PM

The dam removal had nothing to do with the rise of water levels, matter of fact that was part of literature dealing with this. My personal thinking is that dam would have slowed up the water building process and we would have been flooding out sooner right now...maybe. These are record building waterfall measurements right now...who is to judge??

Pat from Riverside  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 3:10 PM

Where is the Army Corps of Engineers now?

John Mathews  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 2:51 PM

The dam removal was not done for the purposes of flood mitigation--it was done for safety and environmental reasons. So, no, I would not think it had any impact--positive or negative--on the flood we are currently experiencing.

Rita K from Brookfield  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 2:05 PM

Apparently, come Hell or high water, RB and LT will be open, students and teachers be damned. What I'd like to know is how has demolishing the Hoffman Dam affected those living downstream and upstream? Did getting rid of the dam make any difference? I

Lisa from North Riverside  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 1:33 PM

Tracy Patton is 100% correct. complete lack of judgment on school administration - Hope they re-evaluate this in the future

Tracy Patton from Brookfield  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 12:20 PM

The roads to the high school (Prairie/Washington & First) were already flooded and closed by police by 7:45AM. School did not start until 8:40. The fact that the school opened at all today shows an astounding LACK of good judgment by the administration.

Mark Roegner from Brookfield, Illinois  

Posted: April 18th, 2013 9:55 AM

Arthur flooded in Brookfield from ogden to shields

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