Algonquin’s Fox River Flood Level Peaks

Two inches of rain directly upstream from Algonquin’s part of the Fox River brought the water level higher than I have seen it this week.

LaFox River Drive Saturday, July 22, 2017.

And the water gauge bears out my observation.

Here you can see the water gushing out of the three culverts running under Dennis Road.

These are the Dennis Road culverts that are being replaced by Algonquin Township because the dirt and rocks between them has washed out. The bypass pumps could not handle the volume of water pouring over the dam in Lake in the Hills.

Walking down LaFox River Drive Saturday morning, I passed three police officers.

Besides the three police officers, this boat and trailer were parked on LaFox River.

The street was blocked for traffic a block farther south than yesterday.

Most of these LaFox River sandbags appeared since my visit yesterday.

Sandbags now lined the west side of the block between the sidewalk and people’s homes.

Neighbors were helping neighbors bag sand to hold back the Fox River Saturday.

Families were loading more sandbags in the street.

This year’s flood level finally reached the level of the one in 2013. It may be higher.

That apartment building driveway I have been writing about next to Cornish Park on the west side of LaFox River Drive was flooded Saturday morning.

The Fox River’s water expanded up LaFox River Drive to the pile of sand.

The owner of the buildign was there and had been so since 1 AM while the rain was pouring down.

Sandbags next to the sidewalk in Cornish Park did not keep the water from flowing into that part of the park next to the apartment building.

Sandbags lined the entrance to the driveway and the side next to Cornish Park, which has a low spot next to the driveway.

Crystal Lake Menards had pumps in stock when they were needed.

“Thank God for Menard’s and those guys,” he told me pointing to the pumps diminishing the water leading to the garages behind the building and the men who helped sandbag his property.

He told me that if his dike didn’t hold the adjoining neighborhood would flood.

The home with the double dike next to the swiftly flowing Fox River on LaFox River Drive.

On the other Fox River side of the street the home at 205 LaFox—right next to Cornish Park was the scene of pallets full of sandbags being brought in for reenforcing the double-walled dike.

This forklift bought at least four loads of sandbags to re-enforce the double walled dike at this home on LaFox River Drive.

One of the men helping was soaked, having been on the river side of the retaining wall shoring up the sandbags facing the Fox River’s currtnt.

Part of the double walled dike that surrounds the LaFox River Drive home.

Pumps were running to remove the water from between the two walls.

The double walled dike behind the LaFox River Drive home.

Another was pulling water out of the basement, which had been infiltrated for the first time.

This family has been undergoing an incredible amount of stress for over a week.

At the dam, the gates had been raised.

Two day ago the dam gates were somewhat lower. About six inches of water was butting up against them. Now all is going underneath.

When I was there Thursday and Friday, I mistakenly thought that they were in the highest position.

This is LaFox River Drive home from the Route 62 bridge.

The Fox was flowing into the edge of the gates then.

The Algonquin Dam near peak flood stage on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

Now the river flows under them with inches to spare.

The view from the east side of the Route 62 bridge over the Fox River.

Two television crews were evident, CBS and ABC.

Addressing Lakewood Flooding Problems

A message from Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka:

Our Ongoing Flooding Crisis

I wanted to send out a quick update regarding ongoing efforts in dealing with the flooding and sewage crisis that this rain continues to cause.

Coming from the east, this is the first home on Broadway.  The village board has discussed digging some sort of a retention facility in the median, but mentioned that since Crystal Lake is insistent upon Lakewood’s getting a permit for the Crystal Lake side of the road that Lakewood was planning to just install it on the Lakewood side of Broadway.

I have spoken at length with many residents and have been to a number of homes and walked their basements as well. Some with as much as two feet of sewage. I know trustee Phil Stephan has been in a number of basements as well.

It isn’t just the Lakewood side of Broadway that has water problems. This is a home on the Crystal Lake side near Gate 4.

I’m certain everyone is aware that while our village definitely has deficiencies in our drainage/sewer system on the east side that MUST be addressed, McHenry and Lake counties have been declared in a “State of Emergency” and these issues go far beyond our village at this point.

I have have also spoken at length with our Public Works Supervisor, Barry Wickersheim as well as our Wastewater Plant Operator Gary Zickuhr.

Our public works crew has pumps running 24/7 removing storm water.

Regarding the sewage – We know that at least a portion of the problem is caused by some homes incorrectly connecting sump-pumps into the sewer lines.

The new sewage pumping station in the middle of Broadway at Gate 6. Crystal Lake is expecting to get landscaping approval on the city side.

We also know that there was a power outage in the area last night that caused our new lift station to “go down” until our public works crews could get their to activate the emergency generator.

Those issues aside, my understanding is that the major culprit is something else.

The western part of Broadway has flooding problems, too.

The yard is flooded, too.

I am told that it is believed, at this point, that the severity of the sewage issues we are currently experiencing is being caused by damage/deficiencies/lack of maintenance in certain portions of village sewer lines.

This family’s yard is flooded.

At the advice of our wastewater operator, I have authorized moving forward with having a contractor come out and run a camera into specific manholes/sewer lines to assess the integrity of our sewer lines and look for the problem areas. The contractor has already been scheduled, but I have not been provided an actual time/date that they will get started.

Here’s a Broadway home with its picket fence reflecting in the side yard pond.  Back when Bob and Betty Baker lived here it was designated a Better Homes and Gardens home.

I do want to say up front, that it could be argued, that the authorization of this contractor should have been brought before the board for approval prior to giving authorization. But, given the dire circumstances that many residents are being forced to live with, I made the decision to expedite matters and “get the ball rolling” toward a solution, rather than wait until our board meeting on Tuesday night to bring it before the board.

This the street next to the home with the picket fence.

Broadway and the spruce are flooded in this picture.

The authorization of this work will be on our agenda, to be discussed and voted upon at our village board meeting on Tuesday, July 25th at 7:00pm at the Redtail Golf Club Meeting Room.

Another flooded yard on western Broadway.

Present at this meeting, will be representatives from our Public Works Dept., a representative from the contracting firm, as well as representatives from our engineering firms, to discuss and help understand the scope of the problem as well as solutions.

The road is not flooded near this home, but there is standing water about to encroach on its garage.

If you are experiencing flooding/sewage issues, I hope you will come to attend this meeting, show your support and hear for yourselves what we learn.

There was a bit of water on this part of Broadway.

And I ask that you please share this and help spread the word to other residents who may also be experiencing flooding/sewage issues, as well.

These three evergreen trunks have water around them.  That’s a sliding board behind them.

Also, (and I know this isn’t much) but, we do have “Clean-Up kits” available at the Village Hall. I believe these kits contain a mop, broom, bucket, disinfectant, garbage bags, gloves, masks, etc. I do not know what quantities we have, but if we run out, I am told that residents can also contact the American Red Cross for kits, by calling: 847.220.7495.
——-

Near the Gate 22 Beach there was some ponding.

If I can share one more thought (and if it sounds a little angry, it’s because I am).

I can not, at this point, speak in an informed manner as to the cause of this ongoing flooding on the east side of our village, nor can I speak in an informed manner as to potential solutions or the costs, thereof.

But, in recent discussions with former administration, I have heard some general remarks along the lines of “short of spending a couple million dollars that we don’t have, to address the problem, there isn’t a whole lot we can do.”

I can not help but be entirely appalled in being told this when our previous administration has, in the last 2 1/2 years, ALREADY SPENT nearly A MILLION DOLLARS on land speculation and legal & engineering fees for their proposed “future development” at Rtes 47 & 176.

Add to this all the talk and planning to spend nearly $4 Million Dollar on a new Village Hall!

I share these thoughts, not to be negative and dredge up the past, but only to offer a promise that I will not ignore this problem, And, I will never sit by and allow millions of dollars to be spent on new development, a new village hall, etc. until our current infrastructure is sound and residents can rest at peace in their homes.

I hope to see you on Tuesday.

Governor Appoints

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Gov. Rauner appoints new member to Illinois State Board of Education

CHICAGO (July 21, 2017) – Today, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced he has appointed Susan Morrison to the Illinois State Board of Education. Morrison’s experience in education administration will bring an important voice to the board.

Morrison, a Carlinville native, served as the chief education officer and deputy superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education. In that role, she managed the operations, activities and services of the agency. She previously served as the state director for the University of Illinois, where she provided leadership and support to pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade schools for purposes of accreditation and school improvement. Prior to her time at the University of Illinois, Morrison was the principal and curriculum director for the Taylorville School District. 

Morrison graduated with her B.A. from Cornell College and received her M.S. in Education Administration from the University of Illinois – Springfield.

McHenry County Court Takes Next Step in Automation

A press release from the McHenry County Circuit Court:

Mandatory Civil E-Filing to become Effective September 1, 2017

The seal of the 22nd Circuit Court.

(Woodstock, IL) The Circuit Clerk of the Court and the Circuit Court of the 22nd Judicial Circuit for McHenry County recently announced that effective September 1, 2017, attorneys are mandated to file all civil case filings electronically with the Office of the Circuit Clerk.

Mandatory E-Filing of civil case documents becomes effective statewide on January 1, 2018, pursuant to an order of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Ultimately, the goal of the 22nd Judicial Circuit is the implementation of the Illinois Supreme Court’s E-Record initiative, which permits trial courts that meet technology standards, to rely on the electronic record as the “official court record.”

Trial Court Administrator, Dan Wallis is very pleased with the progress made in terms of the Court and technology.

“This vision displayed by the leadership of the Court and the Office of the Circuit Clerk of the Court have brought us to the point of being a leader not only in the state, but in the nation, in the terms of court technology; as such, we have been managing document images since the mid 1990’s.

“While mandatory Civil E-Filing is the next logical step, it will have little impact on the electronic process of the Court since we have been accepting electronically filed documents since 2013.

“However, making Civil E-Filing mandatory to all parties will have a significant impact on efficiency and reduction in costs.”

The Circuit Clerk of the Court has made available several E-Filing public computers in the McHenry County Government Center to facilitate the electronic filing of documents.

Ameya Pawar Premiers Campaign RV in Harvard

Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar rolled into Harvard for a Town Hall Meeting at the Moose Lodge about 45 minutes late, but none of the eighteen people attending (twenty-one, if you count Moose members listening)and me) left before he arrived.

Harvard got the first look at Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Ameya Pawar’s newly-wrapped rental recreational vehicle when he came for a Town Hall Meeting at the Moose Lodge on Route 173 Friday.

It was the second time, since he had previously attended a McHenry County Democratic Party Central Committee meeting.

He is building his campaign on volunteers, not money.

So far Pawar has signed up 2,500 supporters and has the largest number of people following him on electronic media–more than any other candidate a volunteer said.

He was off to another Town Hall Meeting at the Rockford VFW after his Harvard appearance.

I’ve got lots of notes, but wanted to let folks know that Pawar visited McHenry County.

Zorn Gives More Exposure to Steve Andersson’s Vote for Income Tax Hike

Chicago Tribune Eric Zorn dedicated not one, but two columns to State Rep. Steve Andersson’s vote in favor of Mike Madigan’s 32% income tax hike.

Zorn obviously wants to help Andersson, but I’m pretty sure that columns like you see the top of below don’t assist the man who represents Sun City and points south:

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn praises State Repl Steve Andersson for a second time last Friday.

You can read the column here.

Open Algonquin Dam Blocking Flow of Fox River

Dams are supposed to block the flow of water.

The Fox River dam in Algonquin is wide open, however.

Nevertheless, the dam is blocking the flooded Fox.

Algonquin Dam can be seen blocking the flow of the flooding Fox River.

Yesterday I thought I got a more dramatic photo with the river about 3-4 inches higher, but when I returned home, I found that I had left my smart card in the computer. (Can’t wait for the dcomments.)

The Algonquin Dam from the east on Friday, July 21, 2017.

The dikes at the home closest to Cornish Park and the bridge were holding Friday morning.

Two rows of sandbags continue to protect the home closest to the dam on the west side of the Fox River this July 21, 2017.


= = = = =
Added in the evening:

Franks Interrupts County Board Meeting Public Commenter Carl Kamienski

Johnsburg resident Carl Kamienski went to Tuesday’s meeting of the McHenry County Board with some post-flood helpful hints.

In his email to me, he wrote,

“I got about 1/2 done and doing really good for my 1st time until Jack F interrupted me and thru me off my game and ask[ed] me to sum it up because he had my prepared remarks.”

Here’s what he had to say:

Carl Kamiensk

My name is Carl Kamienski of River Terrace Drive, Johnsburg.

I just want to take a moment to talk on 4 topics.

Item 1

The water will go down soon; that will leave a hell of a mess. Now is the time for all you board members to work with the local governments on clean-up efforts, especially the sand bags.
Maybe work to have pallets dropped off at intersections and sand pile locations, or talk to waste haulers like Waste Management, PrairieLand, etc… and have dumpsters dropped off, where residents can put the used sand bags. Then the truck can take them back to the public works yards where maybe volunteers can separate bags from sand and sell the sand or donate it to other local governments for their roads.

All of us are worn out, stressed out beyond the flood levels, hungry and tired, but we will not complain, we just need to make it as easy to get rid of the sand bags as possible. If not it will, and I mean it will, end up in the water ways. We can’t afford to let that happen, the waterway mgmt. can’t even dredge what they are supposed to now and if that sand goes in to the water system the next flood will be even worse. And there will be another flood, and that you can count on.

Other things that would help may be some port a potties, all of us that have septic systems, we can’t use them for weeks to come even when we see that there is no water on the field there is still water in the ground.

And in the areas under water, maybe at a central point in those areas, get the Tide washer semi trailer out so we can do some washing. Maybe get the mail to a central point. Garbage pickups do the same, a central point. Even with the water barely off the roads we don’t need any more stress on our roads.

Item 2

Please let all of the law departments and public works departments know that we give one big heart felt thank you for all of their hard work. Keeping us safe and keeping our property safe, getting after the idiot’s that don’t know how to drive in water that were damaging property. And just checking on us old mules to see that we’re ok and even when they went by, to smile and say hi to us. That goes a long way with us. So please do what you can to say thanks and for having our backs.

Item 3

Even as the water does go down, safety is going to be a problem. This water is a hazmat super fund site. Do what you can to make sure that all of the medical centers know what to ask when someone comes in cut up and to ask them where they got injured. Was it in a general parking lot or out working in/around the flood waters? Because there are different treatments for cuts exposed to flood water, and if not asked it could have a bad outcome.

Item 4

Very soon the restrictions on the waterway will start to change. 1st will be the lakes to no wake, then the upper river will be no wake, and then the lakes will be open to no restrictions. What will happen is that you have a lot of boaters that have been dry dock and want to get out. Then they will start to go down the river. At that point we will need the help of the sheriff marine unit. As a suggestion maybe ask some the off duty officer to help so we don’t over work the few that we do have. Just like the drivers going thru water on the road making a wake so will some of the boaters. We don’t need to make it a revenue generator, but educate the boaters. Our shore lines are delicate right now, let’s help them heal.

And last get out and walk the area and go shoulder to shoulder with us and let’s make this as easy and fun and as safe a clean-up as we can.

Time for a New Business Model for Pace

Why does the Regional Transportation Authority subsidiary Pace take all passengers in handicapped accessible buses?

Only a relative few users need the bus to stoop for entry or use the wheelchair lift.

It has been clear to me since former McHenry County Board member Nick Provenzano started advocating using Uber during hours when Pace did not provide service that he had a great idea.

Now the Chicago Tribune reports on a deal Uber has cut with Chicago to provide wheelchair accessible vans.

If in Chicago, why not in McHenry County?

It is clearly time for Pace to enter the Twenty-First Century.

Woodstock Woman Convicted of Drug Induced Homicide

A press release from McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally:

DRUG DEALER FOUND GUILTY OF DRUG INDUCED HOMICIDE IN McHENRY COUNTY

Patrick D. Kenneally, McHenry County State’s Attorney, announced that 26-year-old Durelle Hall of Woodstock, Illinois, was found guilty, after a jury trial, of the offense of Drug Induced Homicide.

Hall will be sentenced on September 7, 2017 and faces between 6 and 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The case centered around the overdose death of a 20 year old victim who was found unresponsive on  October 6, 2015 after ingesting Heroin that had been laced with Fentanyl.

An investigation into the death by Marengo Police Department revealed that the victim had  purchased the Heroin from Hall.

Hall has several other unrelated pending matters in McHenry County including Delivery of a Controlled Substance within 1000 feet of a School, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance,  Intent to Deliver, and Unlawful Possession with Intent to Deliver Cannabis.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Randi Freese and Rita Gara.

The case investigation was lead by Detective Boeckh and Sergeant Boyce of the Marengo Police Department.

Record Flood Level for Fox River

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Department advises that last night’s rain has brought the Fox River to record flood levels, unlike yesterday.

Fox River Now Flooded at Record Level

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – As a result of the rain that began Wednesday night and continued into Thursday morning, the Fox River has now reached record flood levels and is expected to continue to rise, and several electrical lines within the affected area are down.

“The challenges and dangers to residents posed by the flooding of the Fox River were already significant before the storms that hit McHenry County on Wednesday night and Thursday morning,” McHenry County Board Chairman Jack D. Franks said. “We will continue to make residents’ safety our top priority and put all of our available resources toward ensuring that any additional flooding does not put lives in danger and that the recovery process can continue to move forward in areas where floodwaters are receding.”

Floodwater Safety

With the possibility of additional floodin g and exposure of power lines, electrical devices, extension cords and power outlets to floodwaters, residents are advised to exercise extreme caution. If they encounter a downed power line, they should not approach it and should immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237). Flooded basements pose similar hazards, and customers should call to have their power disconnected prior to entering a flooded basement.

Floodwater can also attract disease-bearing insects, contaminate food and drinking water, cause water-borne illness – particularly if it comes into contact with an open wound – and make roadways hazardous. Children should not be allowed to play in flood water. Residents should consult the ‘Flood Resources’ section of www.co.mchenry.il.us/flood for more information about the dangers of contact with floodwaters and tips to stay safe.

Document Recovery

In re sponse to the flooding, the McHenry County Recorder’s Office will produce single copies of property records at no charge to those residents and businesses located in the areas affected by the recent flood, until July 31, 2018. Requests will be handled on a first come, first served basis and will be provided as soon as administratively possible. Some limitations may apply.

Residents can learn more by visiting www.co.mchenry.il.us/flood and following the link to the Recorder’s document request website.

Volunteers Needed

The McHenry County Emergency Management Agency is working with Team Rubicon to assist residents who have been affected by flooding. Team Rubicon is currently putting together and organizing their operations to begin addressing residents’ current needs. Volunteers are expected to be needed starting on Monday July 24th for muck out/clean out and debris cleanup activities.

Those interested in volunteering should register as a volunteer at: http://www.volunteercentermchenrycounty.org/

This site will be updated with a list of current volunteer needs next week, but interested residents are encouraged to register as available volunteers as soon as possible.

Damage Assessment

Disaster recovery is a multi-step process starting with an initial damage assessment, which is now underway and will continue despite the additional rain and possibility of increased flooding. McHenry County is working with local municipalities and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to conduct the assessment.
Recovery efforts are also being aided by Team Rubicon, a not-for-profit organization that provides disaster response assistance by pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responder agencies. Residents and businesses are encouraged to cooperate with these teams so the damage can be properly catalogued.

Scamming Alert

Often, in times of natural disaster, there is an increase in door-to-door and phone solicitation by potential criminals posing as contractors. McHenry County urges property owners to: obtain multiple estimates for contracting work; work only with well-established, licensed contractors that they have made appointments with; not to make payment for work up front; only begin the repair process after a contract has been signed; have contracts reviewed by an attorney, if necessary; and take photographs of all contractors and vehicles they use.

Clean Up and Comfort Kits

The American Red Cross has cleanup kits available to assist affected residents. Kits include a mop, broom, bucket, disinfectant, garbage bags, gloves, sponges and masks. Residents can request a cleanup kit by contacting 847-220-7495.

Affected residents and business owners should check www.facebook.com/McHenryAware and www.co.mchenry.il.us/flood regularly for updates. For flood related questions, residents can call 211. In case of an emergency, residents should dial 911.

If you need additional sandbags, please contact your municipality or township.

30-Year Woodstock Employee Thought to Have Stolen Firm’s Trade Secrets to Give to New Employer–a Chinese Rival

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Businessman Indicted for Allegedly Stealing Employer’s Trade Secrets While Planning for New Job with Rival Firm in China

CHICAGO — A 30-year employee of a McHenry County manufacturing firm stole proprietary information from the company while planning to move to China to begin work for a rival firm, according to an indictment returned in federal court in Chicago.

On Sept. 13, 2015, ROBERT O’ROURKE allegedly downloaded electronic data belonging to his employer, a Woodstock-based manufacturer of cast-iron products.

At the time, O’Rourke had already accepted a new job with a rival firm in Jiangsu, China, according to the indictment.

Two days later he officially resigned from the Woodstock company, the indictment states.

The following week O’Rourke packed up the proprietary information and went to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to board a flight to China, the indictment states.

Federal authorities intervened and seized the stolen electronic data, along with stolen paper documents, before O’Rourke traveled to China to begin work for the new firm.

The 13-count indictment was returned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

It charges O’Rourke, 57, of Lake Geneva, Wisc., with theft of trade secrets.

Arraignment is set for July 25, 2017, at 10:15 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood in Chicago.

Joel Levin

The indictment was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the charges, O’Rourke worked for the Woodstock company since 1984, holding the positions of plant metallurgist, quality assurance manager and salesperson.

He also helped the company develop international business in, among other places, China, the indictment states.

In December 2013, O’Rourke allegedly began discussions with a Chinese firm to take a similar job there.

After several months of discussions and negotiations, O’Rourke accepted the position of Vice President at the Chinese company, the indictment states.

O’Rourke initially advised the Woodstock company on Aug. 12, 2015, that he intended to resign, according to the indictment.

At that time, O’Rourke did not mention that he was negotiating employment with the Chinese firm, and he continued to work for the Woodstock company for another month, the indictment states.

During that month he purchased his plane ticket to China and stole the proprietary trade secrets, the charges state.

The indictment does not identify the name of the Woodstock company or the Chinese firm.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Each count of the indictment is punishable by a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shoba Pillay.

Cary District 26 Grade School Sale

Here are the highlights of the sale of Maplewood Grade School in Cary from School Board President Scott Coffey:

Maplewood School Sold

The property is located downtown about 800 feet from the train station.

The school was closed in 2010, but the district still utilizes a portion of the property for it transportation operations.

The Board’s intent, since its closure, has always been to get the property onto the tax rolls.

Currently, the district spends roughly $75K per year at Maplewood for ongoing maintenance, repairs, vandalism, utilities, etc.

If the district were to demolish the building itself, it would cost around $750K for demo work/asbestos abatement/etc. plus construction costs to bring utilities directly to the remaining transportation office and maintenance garage.

The $2.5 million in proceeds will be used to build a replacement transportation center on another district property.

The key to the transaction is the incremental property tax revenue generated by the new development.

I would anticipate that revenue to be recognized by all relevant taxing bodies to be roughly $600K to $700K annually.

The D-26 portion would be about $200K-$250K per year, assuming the Board captures the new growth in its levy.

Combining the incremental property tax revenue along with the elimination of the current maintenance costs and some bus fuel savings from operating from a new location, the district is looking at a favorable impact to its annual operating budget of over $300K annually.

Given the future financial pressures I expect to continue to come from the State on school funding, increased pension costs, levy freezes, etc., this favorable impact may provide future Boards with the flexibility to more effectively respond to these financial pressures.

Before the Deluge

With four inches of rain having fallen in Western McHenry County, according to a rain gage west of Woodstock and the storm track heading straight toward the Fox River, folks affected by the flooding will be wearily watching the inexorable flow of the water.

Yesterday, it was clear that the flood of 2013 was higher than this year’s.

The driveway below, located next to Cornish Park (next to the Algonquin dam), was inundated in 2013.

A sandbagged driveway on the west side of LaFox River Drive in Algonquin with pink flamingos, but no flood water on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. It was covered with water in the flood four year’s ago.

It was dry yesterday.

Flood water on LaFox River Drive in Algonquin. LaFox is the closest street to the Fox River south of the bridge.

And the long-legged birds stuck in sandbags were not alone.

A great egret was hunting for food unsuccessfully in Cornish Park next in the shallows of the flooded Fox River.

 

Culvert Replacement on Dennis Road

Some of the homes served by Dennis Road.

There’s a community nestled between Algonquin Road and the hill in Algonquin to its south that had an access road of three culverts.

The hole through which creek water avoided the culverts was visible from the street.

Over time creek waters managed to scourer dirt from around the culverts.

The creek escaped the culverts thru this tunnel.

Eventually, the asphalt road was in danger of  collapsing.

The three culverts look OK, but they were not protected from the flowing creek.

This was not after the most recent deluge, but the one before.

Culverts on the upstream side of Dennis Road.

It’s an Algonquin Township Road, so the duty to fix it fell to newly-elected Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser.

The hoses go under the wooden approaches to the temporary steel bridge.

I took a look at the Dennis Road.

As I approached  a Waste Management man was walking up toward the temporary bridge to bring garbage back to his truck.

The garbage containers were on this side of the Algonquin Road side of the damaged bridge.

The engineer told me that, when completed, concrete will hold the culverts in place and keep water from going around them.

Three big hoses suck up the creek water.

During construction, heavy duty pumps direct the creek through hoses approximately a foot in diameter.

Pumps pulling the water out of the stream and over the road.

You can see how heavy duty the pumps are.

The water is discharged downstream.

In the meantime, the creek is diverted over the roadway.

OK fishermen. Tell us what kind of fish this is.

While I was there a small fish was found that could not get downstream.

The man who found the little fish took it downstream.

One of the men picked it up and carried it over the obstruction.

Commonwealth Edison-constructed bridge.

Contractor Rabine Paving discovered that Commonwealth Edison had built a temporary bridge that now crosses the stream.

The work is estimated to be completed by August 1st.

Andersson Gets More Unwanted Publicity

State Rep. Steve Andersson was the subject of a supportive July 12, 2017, column by the Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn shortly after the vote to raise the state income tax by 32%.

The Eric Zorn column sported the photograph of State Rep. Steve Andersson shaking House Speaker Mike Madigan’s hand, as Madigan holds Andersson’s arm.

Although readership in newspapers is diminishing, this cannot have been helpful.