State of Emergency Declared Amid Kankakee River Ice Jam Crisis, Historic Flood Levels 

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Will County, IL – In response to escalating ice jam conditions on the Kankakee River, Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant has declared a state of emergency. This declaration follows a coordinated effort between Will County Emergency Management Agency and Constellation Energy to activate all three warm water siphons from the Dresden Energy Center. This measure aims to accelerate the melting process of the ice jam, which has reached historic flood levels.

According to County Executive Bertino-Tarrant, the activation of the warm water siphons is a critical step to mitigate the public safety risk posed by the unprecedented ice accumulation. She emphasized the importance of this action to protect lives and property in affected communities. The emergency was declared following flash flooding and flood watches in unincorporated Will County and Wilmington, IL, with water levels reaching a significant 13.5 feet.

Will County EMA Director Allison Anderson and Will County Board Member Joe VanDuyne have expressed their gratitude to Constellation Energy for their support in this emergency response. The full activation of the siphons, which began at noon on January 18, follows the initial activation of one siphon line on January 17. While this measure will only partially impact the ice jams, it is expected to significantly hasten the melting process and reduce the potential negative effects of rapid thawing.

Residents in the vicinity, particularly those in low-lying areas, are advised to remain vigilant and prepare for potential evacuation. Will County EMA continues to monitor the situation closely, working with local officials to ensure community safety. For real-time emergency alerts, residents are encouraged to sign up at www.willcountyema.org/signup.

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