Heavy rain, flash flooding hits northwestern Illinois

Heavy rains have caused several roads to be closed in Stephenson County with some reports of 6-9 inches falling over a 24-hour period.

The Freeport Police Department issued the following statement Monday morning:

“The City of Freeport IL - City Hall is establishing a road closure page. Please check this page as it will be updated as updates become available: https://cityoffreeport.org/road-closures-flooding/

“Flood levels are expected to continue to rise until 1 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. More roads may be added to this list. Check back to this page for more updates, and get SMS text & phone notifications directly from CodeRed: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/BFE9C203F980

“Additionally, public safety officials request individuals with flooded basements to stay out of their basements to avoid electrocution.”

In Freeport, the following roads were closed until further notice due to rising flood levels:

• Henderson Street, North & South

• Streets north of E. Stephenson Street

• Streets east of Hancock Street

• Route 75/E. Stephenson Street from Hancock St. to city limits

“Please note that this is a developing emergency. Road closures may be added or removed. Refresh your browser for the latest road closures,” the statement said.

Emergency personnel are also warning residents not to walk or drive through floodwaters noting that floodwaters are fast moving in several areas and have strong currents.

For additional updates, follow the City of Freeport’s Facebook page and sign up for CodeRed emergency notifications on the City’s website that notify residents directly.

Stephenson County

The Stephenson County Highway Department posted these road closures at 9:30 a.m.:

• Cedarville Road from Cockrel to Sociota Mills Road

• Pearl City Road d from Block Road to Miche Road

• Loran Road from Altoff Road to the county line

“We hope to have all roads open later today, but in the meantime please use extreme caution when driving on roads with water. Also, a lot of the shoulders are washed out, so please drive carefully even if there isn’t water on the road. With minimal manpower, we are unable to get around the county as fast as we would like. We will update as we can,” read the statement.

Ogle County

In Ogle County, six inches of rain fell early Monday morning following three inches on Sunday.

Earlier on Monday morning, a portion of Illinois Route 2 was closed due to flooding north of Byron and Illinois Route 26 had water across it in Forreston and around Woosung.

In Oregon, rain on Sunday morning forced the Ogle County Fair to cancel all outdoor events except for the goat show which was held in the sheep/goat barn.

Monday morning, floodwaters remained over the Oregon Park District’s Wiggly Field dog park on the south edge of town.

That area has a boardwalk that stands above a natural wetland and has been know to flood during heavy rains.

Water levels had not reached the Village of Progress located west of the dog park.

The Village of Progress, a private not-for-profit corporation that was founded in 1969 to meet the training needs of adults with disabilities who reside in Ogle County, was damaged by flood waters in July of 2017.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 8 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.