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More Rain Swells Fox River To Record Levels

CHICAGO (CBS) — A fresh round of thunderstorms overnight swelled already swollen lakes and rivers in the northern suburbs, with the Fox River rising to record levels Thursday morning.

The flooded Fox River and Des Plaines River began receding in recent days, after reaching near-record levels in the wake of last week’s storms. Overnight, more heavy rains hit the northern and northwestern suburbs again, sending water levels rising again.

In Algonquin, all eyes again were on the Fox River on Thursday, where many homes were still surrounded by sandbags more than a week after flooding began.

Fox River Drive has flooded in Algonquin, and drains essentially have become useless.

Although the Fox River crested a couple days ago, overnight rains have raised the water level to 12.77 feet near Algonquin, as of 10:30 a.m. That’s a new record, nearly an inch higher than the previous record of 12.7 feet, set in April 2013. Flood stage for that section of the river is 9.5 feet.

According to the National Weather Service, the river is expected to crest again later Thursday at about 13 feet.

The sandbags outside Mark Korczyk’s home are keeping hundreds of thousands of gallons of water at bay. If they don’t hold, he could end up like his neighbor, Phil Barnes.

“We’d probably be up to calf level in this room if we weren’t sandbagging,” Barnes said from the back deck outside his sunroom.

Barnes said the situation in his back yard dramatically worsened overnight as heavy rains fell.

“I look out, and now it’s just unbelievable, and I can only imagine what it’s going to be when we get more rain. I mean there’s nowhere for any of this water to go, except for up and in the house. So we’re going to try desperately to just keep adding up layers of sandbags, and building the wall higher and higher,” he said.

He’s trying to get by with a little help from his friends, like 56-year-old Barbara Hawk, who lives on higher ground.

“Our best friends are here. We love them, and anything we can do to help, we’re here to help,” she said.

The Des Plaines River also was rising again Thursday morning, although it was still more than a foot below the highest levels it reached after last week’s storm.

Both rivers were expected to slowly recede over the next several days, but likely won’t reach normal levels until sometime next week. However, there is more rain in the forecast over the next couple days in the Chicago area, so if the northern suburbs continue to get more rain, it could take even longer for floodwaters to go down.

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