Lyons, Riverside work to prevent flooding along Des Plaines River

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With the Chicago area under a flood watch, officials in Lyons and Riverside are keeping a close eye on the level of the Des Plaines River.  It’s so far, so good — and crews are working hard to keep it that way.

Public works crews have spent the past day clearing catch basins to prevent flooding from all the rain water and melting snow.

Strategic sandbagging is in place in some areas as city agencies monitor the rising level of the Des Plaines River.

Extra sand was trucked into Lyons yesterday and an action plan will kick in if it hits seven feet.  But the level is nowhere near that right now — probably around three or four feet.

Things could change quickly due to the rainy forecast.

There is a lot of chunky ice in the river right now.  Earlier today it was a solid sheet of ice.

Because of the thaw and the rain, and because the ice is breaking up, it is an immediate concern right now.  If it becomes a solid ice dam it will create quite a flooding situation downstream.