LAKE COUNTY, Ill. -- Officials toured the extensive flood damage in Lake County this weekend as residents received good news and bad news: some of the flooded rivers and lakes are cresting, but the Chain of Lakes and Fox River are still rising.
Many homes have been destroyed as heavy rains caused flooding across Lake County. As of Saturday, county officials said at least 6,100 structures were impacted by flood waters, but the number could go as high as 10,000. River levels remain a concern as flood waters in Wisconsin start to make their way south.
"These are peoples' homes at stake, livelihoods at stake; it is important as a community we do all that we can," said Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL).
Emergency workers showed hard-hit Gurnee to Schneider and other federal and state lawmakers over the weekend. Gov. Bruce Rauner declared Lake, Kane and McHenry counties disaster areas after touring some of them Friday. Sen. Dick Durbin came through Saturday, but said it may be hard to reach the vote threshold needed to approve federal disaster relief money, leaving Lake County to depend on the state.
"It takes a flood to get the bipartisan ship moving," Durbin said. "We are here and we will do everything we can to help."
Resident Jim O'Borny said he has standing water on three sides of his home, and he uses several pumps to keep water from flooding him out. They're able to keep up - but just barely.
This is the third time in 12 years his home has seen flood water like this, and despite the dry day, the pumps are going to keep running for a while, as it's going to be like this for a week to 10 days. Still, O'Borny said he feels like one of the lucky ones.
"I've been at my neighbor's homes where it is a lot worse, there is a foot of water in their basement, " he said.