Riverside residents in Byron deal with flooding - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Riverside residents in Byron deal with flooding

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Record-setting floods sweep the Rock River Valley, damaging homes and creating hazardous driving conditions on area roads.

Yet some of those, in the eye of storm, stay strong and dry right in their riverside homes.

"Everybody at the moment, that lives along the river is taking care of themselves," said Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn.  He's personally delivered 2500 sand bags to residents in at least one area neighborhood.

For Larry Newhouse and his family, taking care of themselves means watching from a distance as their home is invaded by the Rock River.

"Yea... you're helpless, basically helpless.  There's nothing you can do, clean everything out.  When it goes back down, clean it up again," said Newhouse as he watched flood waters stream around his home from across the way.

Most of the homes on North River Drive, like Newhouse's are empty; their residents resting on higher ground.  Others though decide to tough it out on their own personal islands.

"Well this year we actually put everything up on blocks inside the house, the furniture and stuff.  We raised it up just in case it did get into the house," said Rick Payne, another area resident.  He's lived in the area for 30 years and isn't phased any longer by floods.

The Kinner's have seen the Rock break its banks before.  They planned accordingly, expecting the worst.

"Fortunately it didn't quite occur.  Not for us anyway.  Some of our neighbors here are not so fortunate.  They've got water in the house and I truly feel sorry for them.  Aw, just this soggy, wet weather like this would be unbearable," said Len Kinner.

In the meantime, he'll sit back, relax and channel surf.

"As long as we have electricity, watch a lot of TV because that's all you can do, Channel 13 by the way."

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