Updated Sept. 16, 2:30 p.m.
Flood Response and Cleanup Information
Water levels on the Des Plaines River, Fox River and Chain O’Lakes are beginning to peak or crest. Those who live near these areas should continue to be alert.
Current State of the Rivers and Lakes
According to the National Weather Service, the Des Plaines River has crested, water levels will continue to recede, and levels will be below flood stage by the end of the week.
Water levels on the Chain O’Lakes and the Fox River are beginning to crest, but water levels are expected to remain high for several days. An inundation map shows approximately 600 properties along the Fox River and Chain O’ Lakes, including Long Lake, could be affected by flooding at the current projected water levels. Note that the map indicates a likely level of impact. It is possible additional businesses or residences could be impacted if water levels exceed projections.
The Fox River remains closed to boating, and the Chain O’Lakes is anticipated to be closed to boating starting at 3 p.m. today. A debris advisory has been issued on the entire Fox Waterway system. Debris concerns can be reported on the Fox Waterway website. The National Weather Service and Lake County will continue to monitor water levels throughout the week. Note that projections are subject to change. River gauge data can be found on the National Weather Service website.
As of Monday, Sept. 16, some Gurnee roads remain closed due to flooding on the Des Plaines River, including Route 132 from IL Route 21 to O’Plaine Road.
For the latest road conditions, visit Lake County PASSAGE.
Wells, Septic and Health Safety
Floodwaters often contain organisms that cause illness. Remember to wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately following contact with floodwater or contaminated objects or surfaces. If you become ill after exposure to flooded areas, (e.g. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps), see your physician.
Residents are advised to not drink water from a private well that has been flooded. The water may be contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants. Use bottled or disinfected water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, washing hands and bathing until you know your water is safe.
Heavy rains and floods can also prevent the proper operation of septic systems. Waste water from malfunctioning septic tanks seeping into the ground can contaminate surface water and ground water. If you use a septic system at your home, take the following precautions:
- Avoid contact with septic system electrical devices until they are dry and clean.
- Reduce nonessential water use (e.g., dishwashing, washing clothes, showering).
- Flush toilets as little as possible or use a temporary toilet.
- Consult with a licensed septic system professional before pumping out septic tanks, aerobic units, lift stations, or holding tanks.
- If you suspect your septic system has been damaged, get the system professionally inspected and serviced. A list of septic system professionals can be found at: www.lakecountyil.gov/818/Onsite-Wastewater-Treatment-System
If you have questions or concerns about your private well or septic system, contact Environmental Health Services at (847) 377-8020.
Sandbags and Clean Up Kits
Residents in need of sandbags or clean up kits should contact their local municipality or township office. Sandbags can act as a barrier to divert floodwaters and prevent or reduce flood damage at your home.
Waste and Debris
Residents should contact their village for waste and debris collection information. Those living in unincorporated Lake County should contact their hauler/waste management services provider.
Watch for updates on Lake County's Facebook page and on this page. Lake County will continue posting information as the situation develops.
Knowing the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning, finding out how to get emergency alerts, reviewing flood insurance policies, and protecting your property are all ways to prepare for flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides flood safety tips that residents should know before, during, and after a flood.
- See If Your Property Is in a Floodplain
- National Flood Insurance Program
- Protecting Building Utilities From Flooding
If your home or personal property was damaged by flooding, contact your insurance company to determine coverage and start the claim process.
Residents should complete emergency clean-up activities that may include removing water damaged property (carpeting, cabinets, etc.). Once the flood water recedes, contact your local community development or the Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department (for unincorporated residents) to inquire about a permit to do additional repairs, such as replacing drywall.
Waste and Debris
For waste and debris collection information, contact your village. If you live in unincorporated Lake County, contact your hauler/waste management services provider.
During heavy rains and floods, the ground is often saturated, preventing proper operation of septic systems. Wastewater from malfunctioning septic tanks seeping into the ground can contaminate surface water and groundwater. Know the signs that a septic system is not working properly, and precautions you can take.
Flood waters may contaminate wells. Drinking and/or washing with water from a private well that has been flooded is not advised as the well water may be contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants.
Residents on private wells need to have their water tested after floodwaters have receded. The Health Department offers water testing kits to residents whose wells are affected by flooding. For additional information on well water testing, contact Environmental Health Services at 847-377-8020.
- Red Cross hotline: 847-220-7495
- Salvation Army donation hotline: 1-888-369-1349