The Will County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and City of Wilmington officials responded to Flash Flooding in downtown Wilmington on the evening of January 25. The flooding occurred suddenly on the North and South Islands due to rapidly increasing water levels on the Kankakee River.
Will County EMA issued a mass notification message to residents, advising them of the rising water levels and the need to evacuate. Water rescue teams were deployed, and 14 individuals were successfully evacuated to a temporary shelter opened by Wilmington ESDA.
Flooding in downtown Wilmington is currently isolated to the North and South Islands. However, ice remains solid on the Kankakee River and water levels are steadily increasing due to water runoff and melting ice. The ice jam on the river has not fully broken and there is the potential for flooding throughout the day as ice begins breaking apart at a rapid pace. The area remains under a Flash Flood Warning and residents should be prepared to take action, including evacuation, if necessary.
Residents and commuters should be aware that Route 53, between 102 and 1st St. will be closed until further notice. The North and South Islands remain closed to the public.
Will County EMA is coordinating with local officials and first responders, including Mayor Ben Dietz, the City of Wilmington Police Department, Wilmington Fire Protection District, Wilmington ESDA, MABAS Division 15, and the Wilmington School District.