WHEATFIELD — The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Jan. 9 for the Kankakee River with changes to the flood stage by Jan. 14, expecting less flooding, and expanding the warning through Sunday, Jan. 19.
The flood warning begins near Kouts in the area of Dunns Bridge, downstream to near I-65 and DeMotte from Thursday morning through Sunday afternoon.
A flood warning has also been issued for areas along the Iroquois River at Rensselaer and downstream to near I-65 and east of Foresman in Newton County. The river Friday morning (Jan. 9) was at 4.9 feet, — flood stage is 12 feet — with major flooding forecast. The river is expected to rise above flood stage by early Sunday morning and may continue to rise to near 15 feet by Monday afternoon.
The impact of the flood may threaten College Avenue in Rensselaer.
The forecasts are based on “observed precipitation a well as forecast precipitation 72 hours into the future,” according to the issued warning.
The warning states the Kankakee River’s stage Thursday morning at 10 a.m. was 6.2 feet. Tuesday morning, 7 a.m., the river was at 10.3 ft. Flood stage is 11 feet. Minor flooding is forecast, moderate flooding is possible.
The river is expected to rise to flood stage by Friday morning and will continue to rise to near 11.4 feet by Jan. 17. If this occurs, NWS states agricultural areas begin to flood and some backwaters begin to fill drainage ditches.
County Road 1200 East will be threatened east of SR 49 near the river.
NWS states widespread inundation of the floodplain reaches up to 3 miles from the river.
The warning continues stating county areas near the river will be affected including Porter, Jasper, Newton and Lake counties in Indiana, and Momence and into Grundy, Kankakee and Will counties in Illinois.
People who encounter a flooded roadway should turn around and find an alternate route.
A flood watch is in effect from 6 p.m. Jan. 9 through 6 p.m. Jan. 11, with periods of moderate to heavy rain expected, which would cause flooding of low-lying areas as well as poor drainage areas along with river and stream flooding.
NWS officials are predicting torrential rainfall possible Friday in portions of the watch area, which may cause flash flooding and rapid river and stream rises. Rainfall amounts are expected to total 2-4 inches by Saturday afternoon, with locally higher amounts possible. Areas in the watch include Jasper and Newton counties, as well as Benton County and counties in Illinois.
NWS warns roads in low-lying flood-prone areas will be susceptible to possible closures. Basement flooding is possible, and flooding in typical in flood-prone areas. Main stem river, tributary and small stream flooding is likely with the amount of rainfall predicted.
Monitor forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings. The NWS advises residents living in areas prone to flooding to be prepared to take action should flooding develop.
For more information, visit weather.gov/chicago.