Kankakee River Levels Fluctuate as Nuclear Plant Siphon Impacts Ice Jams


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Wilmington, IL – Recent measures taken by the Will County Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with Constellation Energy, appear to be having a tangible impact on the Kankakee River ice jams. The implementation of a warm water siphon from the Dresden Nuclear Power Plant’s cooling lake has contributed to a noticeable decrease in the river level, which dipped below 12 feet before rising slightly again.

As of 7:45 AM CST on January 18th, 2024, the latest observed river stage was 12.25 feet, a decrease from the previously observed peak of 13.16 feet. This fluctuation is indicative of the siphon’s effect on mitigating the ice jam’s severity. The river’s levels remain significantly above the 6.5-foot flood stage, and while the siphon does not prevent ice jams, it can reduce the risk factors that lead to heavier river ice cover.

Authorities continue to monitor the river’s behavior closely and maintain a flood warning for the area. The situation remains dynamic, and residents are still urged to exercise caution, stay updated with the latest advisories, and be prepared to seek evacuation assistance if necessary. The community hopes for continued effectiveness of the siphon as freezing temperatures persist, potentially until January 22nd.


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