Residents survey damage as river flooding crests - – Rockford’s News Leader

Residents survey damage as river flooding crests


Flood levels on the Rock River and other area waterways aren't forecasted to rise any higher, but it will still be some time before river front residents see the waters recede.

Last time the Rock River was this high was in June of 2008. In fact it was even higher. Some of the residents of Queen Oaks Way learned how to handle a flood the hard way that year. This time, they say they were more prepared.

"Because we've been through this about five years ago, my husband was very proactive in getting everything up to a storage unit about three days before it actually came up," says Tiffany West, who's home is completely surrounded by water.

Tiffany's home doesn't have a basement, rather a crawl space. That space is currently filled with water. Just 12 inches separates the river and Tiffany's living room.

Like many of her neighbors, Tiffany's home uses a septic tank for waste disposal, not city sewage. This makes recent river flooding even more complicated. "So our unfortunate situation is we can't flush toilets or take showers at this time," she says.

They worry any additional water would be too taxing on the system. That could mean more than just river water causing problems. Fortunately for Tiffany, her aunt lives just up the street. She is letting her use her home until the water recedes.

"Once the water goes down, we're going to just hose down what we can, bleach and water everything, bucket and a mop and do what we can to get it cleaned up," says Tiffany.

Across Ralston Road, on Ventura, a new resident, Steve Ekberg, new the river could be unforgiving when he moved in last January. But having never experienced this degree of flooding before, he turned to his seasoned neighbors for advice.

"I have 5 pumps going but they're not constant, they're on and off. Sandbags down below because I have a walkout. But other than that, everything's dry," says Ekberg.

Both Queen Oaks Way and Ventura Blvd are both closed to through traffic because parts of the roads are submerged in water too.


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