Nursing home evacuated due to flooding threat

OTTAWA, Ill. – A nursing home in LaSalle County that sits close to the Illinois River was evacuated Tuesday due to flooding threats.

The LaSalle County Nursing Home began evacuating its 47 residents around 6 p.m. Tuesday due to concern that the residents would be trapped in the building if they needed help. They were transported to nearby facilities, including Mendota.

“The risk is you can’t get in, you can’t get out. It’s like a moat,” Chris Csernus, the nursing home administrator, said.

River levels can rise fast with heavy downpour, so even though waters have never gotten inside the building before, it’s gotten close.

“The water has never come into the facility through the years but the trouble is you can’t get supplies in and employees can’t get in and out because it does flood the parking lot,” Csernus said.

Family members were prepared for the evacuation—it was the second time in a year for the facility. The building was damaged after last year’s Feb. 28 tornado.

The last time the nursing home was evacuated due to flooding was in 2013.