Updated Sept. 19, 2:30 p.m.
The National Weather Service, Lake County, and local communities are monitoring the potential for heavy rain beginning Saturday, Sept. 21 through early next week. The Skokie River and the North Branch of the Chicago River have fully receded from this past week’s rain, the Des Plaines River is receding but is still at minor/moderate flood stage, and the Fox River and Chain O’Lakes remain high and will for several days. There is a concern for the potential of both flash flooding and river flooding from these weekend storms. Residents should stay tuned to the latest weather forecasts for updates.
An inundation map shows approximately 600 properties along the Fox River and Chain O’ Lakes, including Long Lake, could be affected by flooding at the currently projected water levels. Note that the map indicates a likely level of impact. It is possible additional businesses or residences could be impacted if water levels exceed projections.
The Fox River remain and Chain O'Lakes remain closed to boating. A debris advisory has been issued on the entire Fox Waterway system. Debris concerns can be reported on the Fox Waterway website. The National Weather Service and Lake County will continue to monitor water levels throughout the week. Note that projections are subject to change. River gauge data can be found on the National Weather Service website.
For the latest road conditions, visit Lake County PASSAGE.
If your home or personal property was damaged by the flooding, contact your insurance company to determine coverage and start the claim process.
Residents should complete emergency clean-up activities that may include removing water damaged property (carpeting, cabinets, etc.). Once the flood water recedes, contact your local municipality or the Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department (for unincorporated residents) to inquire about a permit to do additional repairs, such as replacing drywall. This is important because officials may need to inspect impacted facilities to determine applicable regulations. Be sure to document your flood damage with pictures and keep all receipts related to the clean-up and repair of your property.
Wells, Septic and Health Safety
Floodwaters often contain organisms that cause illness. Remember to wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately following contact with floodwater or contaminated objects or surfaces. If you become ill after exposure to flooded areas, (e.g. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps), see your physician.
Residents are advised to not drink water from a private well that has been flooded. The water may be contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants. Use bottled or disinfected water for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, washing hands and bathing until you know your water is safe.
Heavy rains and floods can also prevent the proper operation of septic systems. Waste water from malfunctioning septic tanks seeping into the ground can contaminate surface water and ground water. If you use a septic system at your home, take the following precautions:
- Avoid contact with septic system electrical devices until they are dry and clean.
- Reduce nonessential water use (e.g., dishwashing, washing clothes, showering).
- Flush toilets as little as possible or use a temporary toilet.
- Consult with a licensed septic system professional before pumping out septic tanks, aerobic units, lift stations, or holding tanks.
- If you suspect your septic system has been damaged, get the system professionally inspected and serviced. A list of septic system professionals can be found at: www.lakecountyil.gov/818/Onsite-Wastewater-Treatment-System
If you have questions or concerns about your private well or septic system, contact Environmental Health Services at (847) 377-8020.
Sandbags and Clean Up Kits
Residents in need of sandbags or clean up kits should contact their local municipality or township office. Sandbags can act as a barrier to divert floodwaters and prevent or reduce flood damage at your home.
Waste and Debris
Residents should contact their village for waste and debris collection information. Those living in unincorporated Lake County should contact their hauler/waste management services provider.
Watch for updates on Lake County's Facebook page and on this page. Lake County will continue posting information as the situation develops.
Knowing the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning, finding out how to get emergency alerts, reviewing flood insurance policies, and protecting your property are all ways to prepare for flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides flood safety tips that residents should know before, during, and after a flood.
- See If Your Property Is in a Floodplain
- National Flood Insurance Program
- Protecting Building Utilities From Flooding
- Red Cross hotline: 847-220-7495
- Salvation Army donation hotline: 1-888-369-1349