Wilmington, IL – High Alert: Kankakee River Floods as Ice Jams Close North and South Islands Closed

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Wilmington, IL – The City of Wilmington Police Department has announced the closure of North and South Islands as the Kankakee River’s levels have reached a critical 13.16 feet at 8:45 AM CST on January 17, 2024, significantly above the 6.5-foot flood stage. This dangerous elevation, driven by persistent ice jams, has prompted a flash flood watch that remains in effect until January 22nd. The swift rise in water levels has already necessitated evacuations in the area, with emergency rescues taking place, such as the recent extraction of a local man from his flooded home by the Wilmington fire department.

Residents in the Phelan Acres subdivision and other affected locales have been evacuated as a precaution, and the flash flood watch continues to warn of possible sudden flooding. The convergence of the Kankakee River with the Des Plaines River near Wilmington has become a focal point of concern, with both waterways experiencing rising levels due to the ongoing frigid conditions.

The Wilmington Police Department is monitoring the situation and advising the public to avoid the closed islands and follow all safety instructions. Residents in need of evacuation assistance are urged to call 9-1-1, and the community is advised to remain alert as the situation develops.

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