STEPHENSON COUNTY, ILLINOIS — Early this morning, the Pecatonica River at Freeport reached Minor Flood Stage at 13 feet. The National Weather Service is currently predicting the river to crest at 15.8 feet by Monday, just below Major Flood Stage.
This is very similar to flood levels experienced in July 2017 and February 2018.
However, impacts may differ from previous floods due to factors such as frozen ground, forecast rainfall, snowmelt, and runoff from southern Wisconsin. Many area creeks are also experiencing significant flooding, including Richland Creek in Orangeville and most of Yellow Creek.
The Stephenson County Emergency Management Agency is encouraging residents living in flood-prone areas to take action now to prepare for the flooding.
• Monitor weather and river forecasts. Pay attention to flood watches and warnings. If you live in an area prone to flash flooding, keep an eye out for potential signs such as heavy rain.
• Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels, declutter drains and gutters, and consider a sump pump with a battery. Find alternative parking to keep your vehicle out of flood waters.
• If possible, plan ahead and have a place to go in case you need to evacuate your home. Gather supplies and keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
• Listen to local officials. Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Do not drive around barricades.
Sand and sandbags have been placed at the Krape Park maintenance building, St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church at 607 East Stephenson St, and at the old fire station at 1819 South West Ave / IL 26 in Freeport.
Residents should pay attention to future press releases for more information as the situation develops.