Kankakee River Ice Jam Breaks: Route 53 Shut Down, Evacuations Underway


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Wilmington, IL – In the midnight hour of Friday morning, residents of Wilmington faced a sudden natural calamity as an ice jam on the Kankakee River broke, resulting in a rapid rise in water levels and the closure of Route 53 due to severe flooding. 

The river’s waters, which rose three feet in the span of an hour, have forced emergency management to implement immediate evacuation protocols for the endangered areas, particularly in downtown Wilmington.

The National Weather Service Chicago has issued a flash flood warning effective until 9:15 AM CST on January 27th, underlining the considerable threat to life and property. The inundation has led to the shutdown of Route 53, a major thoroughfare, complicating evacuation efforts and emergency responses.

Residents seeking shelter can find refuge at the Wilmington Moose Lodge, which has been set up as an emergency shelter. Authorities are advising the community to heed evacuation orders, avoid the affected routes, and stay vigilant for updates. 

The flash flood, a result of the ice jam disruption that’s been ongoing since January 15th, has placed Wilmington in a state of high alert as the town responds to this flooding crisis.


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