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Waters slowly receding as county begins to dry out

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 2:46 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 4:01 p.m. CDT
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(Sandy Bressner - sbressner@shawmedia.com)
Cars make their way through standing water on Route 31, north of Route 64, in St. Charles on Thursday.

As Kane County recovers from heavy rain and flooding conditions, officials report flood waters are withdrawing.

"Throughout the county, we are seeing the water starting to recede," said Don Bryant of the Kane County Office of Emergency Management, "The National Weather Service says the Fox River will go up some more before it crests, but a lot of creeks and tributaries have dropped below flood levels."

Also, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen signed off on a local disaster declaration, a step in the process to get Kane County declared a federal disaster area and open potential federal assistance to the citizens and municipalities affected by the flood.

Bryant said once Springfield collects damage data from the flooding, and Gov. Quinn thinks the county qualifies for Federal Emergency Management Agency aid, the request goes to Washington. If approved, the county would be eligible for disaster funds.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ben Deubelbeiss at the Romeoville office, said the current crest forecast for the Fox River is 12.8 feet at midnight Saturday, April 20. Deubelbeiss cautioned that it would take 24 to 30 hours after that for a significant reduction in flood water.

Rainfall for the storm was measured at more than 7 inches in DuPage County, though at the DuPage Airport, it was measured at 3.93 inches, Deubelbeiss said. Aurora measured 6.63 inches, he said.

Sugar Grove's rainfall for the storm measured 5.47 inches, Batavia's was 5.13 inches, Geneva 4.38, St. Charles 4.34 and Elburn at 4.25 inches, he said.

Antonio Gualtieri, who lives on Tuscola Avenue in the Valley View area of St. Charles Township, was flooded out of his home Thursday. On Friday, Gualtieri reported that the flood waters had gone down about six inches, so his house no longer was underwater.

"I'm staying at a neighbor's house while I'm waiting to get inside my house again," Gualtieri said. "I'm going to have to replace the drywall – maybe the floors, too – but hopefully they won't buckle."

Flooding led to some erroneous reports of sinkholes developing in Kane County, officials said. In St. Charles on Route 64, a report of a car that fell into suspected sinkhole was actually a car whose driver ignored the barricades blocking the street due to standing water, police said. The motorist got stuck and called for a tow truck.

McDonald Road at Dittman Road was closed late Thursday and reopened Friday, because of flooding that eroded the shoulder of the road, City of Elgin spokeswoman Karla Persky said.

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