Due to the extreme cold temperatures a seven (7) mile ice jam has formed on the Kankakee River, stretching east and west of Interstate 55. Low lying areas are already experiencing some of the side effects of the flooding with this build-up, and the ice flow is almost up to the bottom of the Interstate 55 bridge.

With the anticipated warming temperatures, thaw, and some rain this weekend, city officials are concerned that areas of the community (along with unincorporated areas) may flood, prompting threats to safety, evacuations and subsequent damage to property. As a result of these concerns, all Wilmington city services met yesterday morning (Thursday) to discuss contingency plans for a possible flood event.

First Responders from Wilmington’s Emergency Services & Disaster Agency (ESDA), the Fire Protection District, and Police Department went door to door earlier this week to advise residents who may be affected of the river conditions and encouraged them to be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Yesterday afternoon City First Responders met with members of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Division 15 Incident Management Team along with the consolidated dispatch center (WESCOM) , Will County Emergency Management Agency (WCEMA), Will County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police and the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) and developed an Incident Action Plan for the possible flooding event.

Officials will continue to monitor the river and weather and are prepared to respond as needed. Residents in low lying areas near the river should be ready to evacuate with short notice.

Wilmington Police Department Press Release