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Flood Threat Has River Grove Getting Ready

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Des Plaines River Flooding

The Des Plaines River (Credit: CBS)

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RIVER GROVE, Ill. (CBS) – Living along a river – any river – means keeping your eye to the sky, and rain in the spring means the potential for your street to turn into a river.

As CBS 2’s Steve Bartelstein reports, the people who live along the Des Plaines River know that all too well.

Few along the Des Plaines will forget 2008, when cars were swallowed up whole by a river well over its banks, and getting around meant paddling.

Again this year, there is concern. Communities such as River Grove are always concerned about river levels, which this week were already about 3 feet higher than normal because of the rain.

But what has Mayor Marilynn May concerned is if we get even more rain.

“This morning, I was watching your channel, and up in Lincolnshire, the Des Plaines was swelling and swelling, and of course, that water does come south to us,” May said.

The worst memories in River Grove, however, date from the mid- to late 1980s. Two floods in 1986 and 1987 both hit in a span of 10 months.

“Nobody expected what happened, and they cleaned up, they redid things, and then it happened again,” May said.

But nearly a quarter century later, this is a very different time.

“One thing that we have – technology we have now that we didn’t have in ’86, we have a tool that we use to communicate with the residents,” May said.

The tool is the tried-and-true phone, which for all but a very few people existed only in landline form back then. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not on the phone list.

“We always just hope it doesn’t go over again,” May said.

So will there be more rain? CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros says you can count on it.

Another 3/4 inches of rain are expected Wednesday. The rain will continue Wednesday night and Thursday, and the conditions will grow progressively cooler, with a high of 58 Wednesday and 50 Thursday.

There is only one day this week where the forecast is expected to be dry. That day is Friday.

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