LOCAL NEWS AND VIDEO FOR
DIXON, STERLING AND ROCK FALLS, IL
December 22, 2014 Rain Shower, 41F

Flooding threatens Morrison houses, businesses

MORRISON – Flooding is not unheard of on Fairway Drive in Morrison.

In fact, resident Jim Scott said he had seen two 500-year floods in the neighborhood in the 21 years he has lived there.

He and a number of other residents of the neighborhood watched floodwaters from Rock Creek approach their homes Monday morning.

The city of Morrison's public works department declared a flooding emergency.

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According to the National Weather Service, 1.3 inches of rain fell in the 3 days before 7 a.m. Monday.

"That's an extremely heavy rain event for this time of year," said Brian Pierce, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities.

The rain melted much of the accumulated snow, adding to the floodwaters. Making the situation worse was the frozen soil, which kept water above ground, Pierce said.

In the Fairway Drive neighborhood, one resident had access to a backhoe, which allowed him to build a dike to prevent the situation from getting worse.

Floodwaters from Rock Creek flowed into Waterworks Park and Prairie Ridge Golf Course, which are near Fairway. Water was nearly 4 feet deep in Waterworks.

None of the houses appeared to be affected, although a few were inaccessible by car.

In the park, the city is considering building a new sewer plant, an unpopular idea in the neighborhood.

"This is where they want to put up the sewer plant? What could go wrong?" resident Tom Eakle said.

Scott said the sewer plant would have pushed floodwaters toward their houses.

Also affected by flooding were areas east of the state Route 78 bridge over Rock Creek.

Waters flowed next to the training center at Super Wash's corporate headquarters, but the company's Jen Black said water had not entered the building as of early afternoon.

Firefighters put sandbags next to the Super Wash complex as well as the nearby Family Chef Restaurant.

"Super Wash was prepared," Black said. "We had sandbags ready. We've been through this."

The floodwaters abutted one of the buildings of Schuler Motors and rose to the foundations of some of the condos on Milnes Drive, where sandbags were placed.

About noon, Assistant Fire Chief Joe Bielema said since 10:15 a.m., the floodwaters had dropped by a quarter of an inch in one area. The water in the Fairway Drive neighborhood had overtopped dikes, he said, but hadn't broken them.

About 10 firefighters helped with sandbagging, Bielema said.

Around the area, cornfields flooded. One of the more waterlogged areas was the farm west of LeFevre and McCue roads near Sterling. Geese already had found the new lake.

The waters surrounded three sides of a house on McCue. A woman named Katie, who declined to give her last name, took pictures of the flood. Her boyfriend recently bought the house, which they have been renovating.

"I talked to a friend, and she said this field hasn't been covered like this in 15 years," Katie said.

The house, which sits on high ground, appeared to be safe.

The city of Sterling put up barricades on one of the eastbound lanes of Lynn Boulevard west of Newman Central Catholic High School, as floodwaters crept near the road.

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