Officials Order Mandatory Evacuation of Marseilles Over Flooding Concerns

Authorities ordered a mandatory evacuation of Marseilles, Illinois, Wednesday morning over flooding concerns. 

Approximately 200 homes in the town, located in LaSalle County, were being evacuated, according to Marseilles Police Chief James Hovious. 

Everyone asked to leave their homes was taken to either the area Lions Club or American Legion, officials said, and no one was allowed in the area after 2 p.m. Wednesday. 

The area being evacuated was south of Illinois and Michigan Canal, and east of Main Street, Hovious said, including Broadway Street, Tolin Street, Illinois Street, Wallace Street and River Street. 

The evacuation came as floodwaters continued to pummel the Chicago area, impacting the south suburbs in particular - shutting down roads, closing schools and even prompting emergency rescues. 

Officials in south suburban Ford Heights encouraged residents to stay inside, writing on Facebook "the streets are not safe for vehicles or people" and offering emergency aid with boats.

Ford Heights closed Cottage Grove School, Medgar Evers School, Tidye Phillips School and District #169 as a precaution amid major flooding, in an effort to keep people from traveling in the dangerous road conditions. 

In nearby Dolton, first responders rescued a woman sitting on top of her flooded car, with video of the encounter showing firefighters pulling the stranded driver down from her minivan and carrying her through waist-high water.

The Cook County Department of Transportation closed some roads on Tuesday, largely in the south suburbs, due to flooding. Those streets include: 

  • Sauk Trail – Western Avenue to Ashland Avenue in Bloom Township
  • 108th Avenue – 159th Street to 161st Street in Orland Park
  • 135th Street – Southwest Highway to LaGrange Road in Orland Park
  • Midlothian Turnpike – Cicero Avenue to Laramie Avenue in Crestwood
  • Kedzie Avenue – 135th Street to 139th Street in Robbins
  • Will-Cook Road – 151st Street to 159th Street in Orland Park
  • 179th Street – Southwest Highway to Marley Creek Boulevard in Orland Park
  • Vollmer Road just west of Western Avenue at Flossmoor

A Flood Watch remained in effect through 6 a.m. Wednesday, with the National Weather Service noting that several inches of rain combined with higher temperatures - accelerating snow melt - would lead to flooding of streams and rivers. 

With the ground still frozen, officials feared that water would not absorb but instead run off, exacerbating flooding conditions, particularly along the Little Calumet River and the Kankakee River. 

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