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Waters continue to rise

Morrison declares flood emergency

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:10 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, April 19, 2013 2:57 p.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/
A large tree floats down the Rock River past the Dixon riverfront Thursday afternoon.
(Philip Marruffo/
Sandbags are aligned to hold back water from the Rock Creek in Morrison. The creek has exceeded its banks for the second time this year.
(Angel Sierra/
Gary Moore, a Morrison resident and employee at Schuler Motors in Morrison, crosses a stream of rising floodwaters next to Schuler Motors. Moore said the water level has risen since this morning, and has noticed the level rise six to eight inches within the past few hours.

After heavy rainfall pummeled the area for more than 24 hours, many places battled flooded walkways, roads and fields Thursday.

Flooding was perhaps the worst in Morrison.

The city declared a flooding emergency after Rock Creek rose and French Creek spilled over its banks. Water backed up in the southwest and south areas of town.

City public works crews were out assessing the situation and sandbagging, where appropriate, about 3:30 a.m. They had sought volunteers to help sandbag, but called off the effort by 10:30 a.m.

Flooding also was apparent in Lee County, where water covered the baseball diamonds at Sports Park and City Park in Amboy; the Rock River flooded its banks; and the river lapped over the retaining wall, flooded the riverfront walkway, and crept into the parking lot near Dixon High School.

Water accumulated in low-lying farm fields and ditches throughout the Sauk Valley, and water covered roads, including Portland Avenue at French Creek and Lister Road near Harvey Road in Morrison, as well as Fulfs Road between Sixth Avenue and Route 40 in Sterling.

Local law enforcement reported just one weather-related incident.

The Sterling Fire Department responded to a report of a fire in the front yard of a home in Galt on Thursday morning.

Firefighters responded just after 6 a.m. to the home at 5004 Anne St., where they found an underground gas line had apparently been struck by lightning and ignited.

Fire department personnel stood by for Nicor Gas to arrive on scene to shut off the gas in the area. Firefighters remained on the scene until 7:30 a.m.

No one was injured, and no damage was reported.

A flash-flood warning for southeastern Lee County was in effect until at least 8 p.m. Thursday.

A flood warning was in effect in Lee County until 7:30 p.m. Thursday and in Whiteside County until 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Rock River at Dixon was at 16.4 feet Thursday afternoon. It was expected to crest at 18.3 feet by Saturday afternoon, then recede to below flood stage by Tuesday.

The Rock River near Sterling was at 11.8 feet Thursday afternoon. It was expected to crest at 13.4 feet by Saturday afternoon, then recede to below flood stage by late next week.

 The forecast

More precipitation is expected today. There is a chance of snow before 10 a.m., then a chance of rain and snow between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., then a chance of rain after 1 p.m. It will be cloudy and windy, with a high in the lower 40s and a low around 30.

It will be sunny with a high near 50 on Saturday and mostly cloudy with a low around 35 on Saturday night.

Sunday's forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and a chance of showers, with a high in the upper 50s and a low in the mid-40s.

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