The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 30, 2013

Rains push rivers out of banks


DANVILLE — Heavy rains sparked rising water levels Wednesday in two area rivers.

Local emergency management agency officials issued a recommendation telling residents around the North Fork of the Vermilion River to monitor rising water levels. The river cleared minor flood stage of 10 feet just after 2 p.m. Wednesday.

The river had risen more than 4 feet between midnight and 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. That put the river level at 9 feet — one foot under flood stage. It took another five hours to surpass the final 12 inches.

Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Fisher said late Wednesday afternoon that he did not anticipate any serious issues with the North Fork of the Vermilion River as long as the county did not receive any major precipitation in the next 24 hours.

EMA is continuing to monitor the North Fork levels.

Fisher also noted EMA has not received any flooding reports around the county and no serious issues were observed during a field survey of the area earlier in the day.

The county’s other two main waterways also showed rising levels on Wednesday.

The Middle Fork of the Vermilion River had gone up to just more than 5 feet by mid-afternoon, still almost 5 feet below flood stage. The Vermilion River showed little increases during the day after rising to about 10 feet below flood stage by mid-morning Wednesday.

The increasing levels come as the result of heavy rains Tuesday night that rolled across Vermilion County and central Illinois.

Fithian received just less than 2 inches of rain as a result of the storms while Danville, Armstrong, Westville and Catlin received between 1½ and 1¾ inches of rain, according to EMA data.

Across the state line, Fountain, Warren and Vermillion counties in Indiana were under a flood warning beginning late Wednesday night and continuing through Sunday evening.

According to the National Weather Service, the Wabash River at Covington, Ind., was at 11 feet as of mid-day Wednesday and expected to reach minor flood stage of 16 feet by early today. The river was forecast to reach almost 19 feet before falling back below flood stage by late Sunday morning.