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Residents brace for more flooding

Caption
Paul Vormittag (left to right), Adam Row, Jon Mertel and Danny Row work to thwart the rapid approach of the Fox River onto Beach Street in the Bay View neighborhood of unincorporated Nunda Township Friday afternoon. Vormittag, Adam Row and Mike Matthews (not pictured) started filling and flinging sandbags early in the afternoon with plans to build a sandbag barricade for the entire street. The effort reminded everyone of last August's heavy rains and the ensuing, neighborhood-wide, four-day sandbag marathon. "I see a sandbag and I have flashbacks," Matthews said, laughing. "This time it's colder, but there aren't as many mosquitos," he added. (Valerie Tobias photo)

Riverfront residents were bracing for another wave of rising floodwaters Friday, and some admitted that they were suffering from flood fatigue.

“Homeowners are getting quite sick of the water; they just went through this six months ago,” said Ed Lescher, director of the Fox Lake Emergency Services Disaster Agency. “I hate to say it; you live on the water, and you have to expect it – but enough is enough.”

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Friday morning for parts of the Fox River. In Algonquin, the weather service predicted the Fox could rise 1.4 feet to 3.8 feet above flood level by early Sunday.

“It looks like the river is going to crest on Sunday and hopefully recede next week,” Algonquin Public Works Director Bob Mitchard said. “We are prepared, and we do have an emergency response plan in place if something does happen.”

Just how high the water will rise is difficult to predict because several variables must be taken into account, including the weather, the water level of the various tributaries feeding the Fox waterway system, and the specific location along the river, Lescher said.

“It’s a guessing game; nobody has an exact measurement on it,” Lescher said. “We’re bracing for the worst, that’s for sure. We’re hoping it gets downstream before the next bout of rain starts.”

Residents in the Bay View Beach subdivision in unincorporated Crystal Lake were taking no chances Friday as they sandbagged Beach Street in front of their homes.

“We use the road as a dam,” said Paul Vormittag, who has lived in the subdivision for 25 years. “[We] sandbag the road to protect 10 houses with the same amount of sand it would take for one house.”

Nunda Township provided four truckloads of sand and a sandbagging machine to help the residents, said Donna Kopsell, a staff member with Nunda Township.

The township bought the machine a few weeks ago, and it already has been a big help for residents both in Bay View Beach and in the Orchard Heights subdivision south of McHenry, Kopsell said.

While some were sandbagging Friday, many already had finished preparing. They still were not looking forward to the river rising higher.

“We’re in the river. They took the house and put it in the river. That’s what it feels like,” said Cassy Taylor, who lives on Park Terrace in Holiday Hills. “It’ll get worse before it’ll get better, that’s for sure.”

Taylor’s home has been reduced to an island, with sandbags surrounding much of the house, and a few inches of water covering the street leading to her house.

Besides the inconvenience of getting to the house, Taylor said they’re also going without water for showers or dishes because the water outside her home had mixed with waste water.

“Everybody’s septic tanks are full, so it has no where else to go,” she said. “It’s kind of bad around here.”

In another part of Holiday Hills, Barb Nedli lugged sand bags into the trunk of her car Friday. She planned to use them along the edge of a channel at her home down the street.

“All I’ve been doing since I retired is sandbagging,” Nedli said with a laugh. “Some people have it worse off than me, so I can’t complain.”

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