(CBS) – In far north suburban Gurnee, locals are preparing for the worst flood on record.
It’s a combination of this week’s rainfall and high river levels, which could spell danger for homeowners.
The village has seen flooding before, and volunteers were extremely organized in their effort to try and protect buildings prone to flooding. They filled sandbags as work crews set up massive concrete barriers.
Volunteers formed an assembly line protecting buildings and businesses in the flood’s path.
“If something bad happened to you, wouldn’t you want someone to help you?” William Bauman tells CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar.
A local vacuum retailer was not taking any chances, clearing out the store after hearing what could be coming overnight.
“This will be the largest flood event the village of Gurnee has ever seen,” Village Engineer Scott Dravicki says.
The Des Plaines River could rise by another 3 ½ feet, he says, topping the record flood of ‘86 by about 8 inches. Dravicki had this warning for locals:
“Police and fire will not be able to get through the water to you if there’s an emergency, so please take whatever precautions you feel are necessary to take care of your home, yourself and your property.”
The high waters never made it inside Six Flags Great America, but guests were turned away as the park was closed due to area flooding.
The north suburbs were especially hard hit by severe weather.
Lake Forest Hospital, also in Lake County, transferred its patients to other hospitals because of flooding and power problems.