Flood warning continues for Kankakee River; ice jams causing concerns

January 28, 2019

A flood warning remains in effect for the Kankakee River until Monday.

Ice jams are the culprit.

“The ice jams along the river will cause flooding throughout the county. We are monitoring it closely,” Kankakee County Emergency Operations Chief Chad Gessner told the Daily Journal today.

“It’s not good; it is rising rapidly and the colder weather this week is not helping.”

The National Weather Service Chicago office’s update at 9:55 a.m. today said flooding was possible on the Kankakee River from the Illinois/Indiana state line to the junction with the Iroquois River at Aroma Park near Wilmington.

The Kankakee River was at 6.8 feet at 6:45 p.m. at Momence and was ice affected. The NWS said the river wold remain at 6.8 feet Monday. Flood stage is 5 feet.

Minor flooding was occurring with moderate flooding forecast. The river was forecast to rise to near 7.4 feet by Monday morning, according to the NWS.

At Wilmington at 6:45 p.m., the stage was 8.5 feet and was ice affected. NWS said the river should crest at 8.6 feet by early Monday. Flood stage is 6.5 feet.

Moderate flooding is forecast to continue.

People are reminded if you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and find an alternative route.

Ice jams 101

• Ice jams can result in rapid rises in water levels with little or no warning.

• Ice jam flooding can be very localized and not affect all locations along the river. Residents in low lying flood prone areas should remain alert for possible flooding due to ice jams.

School closings

Herscher school district called off classes for Monday due to snow and high winds.

In a Facebook post, the district also canceled classes for Wednesday “due to the historical projected wind chills.”

Warming centers

Sunday the Fortitude Community Outreach shelter location was open at Central Christian Church at 310 Main St. NW, Bourbonnais.

Additional warming centers open are the Civic Auditorium in Kankakee and the Leo Hassett Community Center in Manteno. Police will be patrolling and monitoring both locations.

The City of Kankakee announced on Facebook that the Kankakee Valley Park District will open the Rec Center as a warming center from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The River Valley Metro buses serve as free warming centers for anyone needing to escape the weather.


If you don’t have to be outside, don’t.

These are dangerous temperatures, not good for people, animals or vehicles.

If you do have to drive make sure to pack an emergency kit that includes snacks, blankets, jumper cables, flares and a charger cord for your phone.

Remember to check on your neighbors and the elderly as the extreme temperatures continue.

Do not leave animals out.

Leave an indoor faucet running at about a trickle to keep water pipes from freezing. Open doors to cabinets where there are pipes to allow warm air to circulate.

Update hourly