Flood Risk Leaves Chain O'Lakes System Closed Along Fox River - NBC Chicago

Flood Risk Leaves Chain O'Lakes System Closed Along Fox River

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As waters continue to rise along the Fox River, several areas in the Chain O’Lakes waterway system are at serious risk of flooding in the coming days. NBC 5's Natalie Martinez reports.

    (Published Saturday, July 15, 2017)

    As waters continue to rise along the Fox River, several areas in the Chain O’Lakes waterway system are at serious risk of flooding in the coming days.

    According to authorities, flood waters could reach record levels in the area, and as a result residents are loading up on sandbags to protect their homes and garages from the rising waters.

    The Chain O’Lakes system is now closed to boat traffic, while rescue teams the only boats that are allowed to go out on the water at the moment.  

    According to authorities, the water could still rise another 18-to-24 inches before it finally crests on the Fox River. Low-lying areas along the lake are already experiencing flooding. Volunteers have been hard at work in the area filling up sandbags to hold the water back.

    The reason for the flood threat comes from the Chain O’Lakes system itself. Water is coming down from Wisconsin along the Fox River, which runs between 10 of the lakes in the chain. The river has crested north of Lake County in Wisconsin, meaning that the highest water levels can be expected within the next day or two.

    One potentially complicating factor lies to the north of the area at the Echo Lake Dam in Burlington, WI. The dam is holding for now according to authorities, but areas around the dam are starting to erode.

    Engineers are slowly letting water through the dam to ease pressure, but if the dam gives out, then water levels along the Fox River could rise a lot more quickly. 

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