By Bob Uphues
With nearly two inches of rain falling at Midway Airport since Sunday morning, the Des Plaines River has topped flood stage and the National Weather Service is predicting moderate flooding in Riverside.
As of Wednesday evening, the Des Plaines River at Riverside was at 8.31 feet, which is just above the moderate flood stage of 8 feet. Earlier on May 1, Riverside Fire Chief Matthew Buckley said the National Weather Service has told him they predict that the Des Plaines will continue to rise over the next day or so to about 8.5 feet.
By midday on May 1 the National Weather Service had predicted the river to crest at 8.9 feet, which is just below major flood stage. That figure was subsequently revised downward as rain held off all day Wednesday and into Thursday morning.
"We're not looking at a lot of rain today [May 1]; it's more tomorrow [May 2] morning around rush hour," Buckley said. "They're still trying to determine how much we'll get and where it's going to go."
As of 6:45 a.m. on May 2, the river had receded to 8 feet, with the National Weather Service predicting a slight bump later on May 2 before gradually receding below flood stage late Thursday or early Friday.
Swan Pond Park has already filled up and the village has shut down the walking path along the river. The baseball field at Indian Gardens has also flooded and water is beginnign to surround the Scout Cabin in the 400 block of Fairbank Road.
During moderate flood stage, the National Weather Service says water will inundate wooded areas near the Des Plaines and Salt Creek, but residential areas should be safe.
"We've driven around and everything looks good, so far," Buckley said.
In Riverside Lawn streets are beginning to flood closer to the river and appeared to be more extensive late morning on May 1 on Gladstone Avenue where some houses are surrounded by water.
The South Hollywood section of Brookfield is experiencing typically high water in and around the intersection of Southview and Arden avenues, where a large pump has been placed to move water downstream in Salt Creek.
Meanwhile, the courtyard of the Forest Creek condominium building in the 3600 block of Forest Avenue has flooded, although other areas of Forest Avenue north of Brookfield Avenue remained dry as of late Wednesday morning. However, wooded areas east of Salt Creek near Washington Avenue had flooded and floodwaters were creeping closer to homes north of Washington Avenue closest to Salt Creek.