PEKIN — The Pekin Boat Club is nearly bare of the campers typical of the warmer months of the year as the water creeps up the shores of the Illinois River.
“Usually this is filled all the way across,” said camper Bob Hughes pointing at spots near the rivers edge. Hughes and his wife, Karen, and son, Ryan, pulled their camper from the Boat Club on Sunday. “But the weather has been bad and people just haven’t been bringing them down yet.”
Many are speculating on what is yet to come.
“You should have seen it here last night with the wind and the rain,” said Karen Hughes. “We have a spot on the other side of the club, but naturally it is underwater and this is the high ground for campers. We’ve had (the camper) down here — this is the second weekend. I think they’re saying 22-feet by Tuesday, which would cover the (Boat Club bridge). I heard last night the river will be at 29 feet by Thursday. But then someone said 27 feet.”
Pekin Street Department Assistant Operations Supervisor Brett Olson said the State Street Station is being manned 24 hours a day to make sure flood waters do not make it into the Jane Street area. The 10-inch pump was activated Friday to keep up with any overflow.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure there is not flooding,” said Olson.
Olson said the weather is creating problems. Koch Street and Parkway Drive have been flooded. A large tree toppled onto Broadway Road after the ground became saturated and could not support it.
Olson said at 1 p.m. Sunday approximately 2 inches more of rain is expected, which is worrisome for the week ahead.
So far the Pekin Wastewater Treatment Plant has not flooded as of Sunday. Barriers have been place along the boundaries of the lower lying areas there.
“It’s still possible there will be flooding there,” said Olson.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Daryl Onton said at 1:30 p.m. Sunday that an additional 1-2 inches of rain are expected through Monday. Rainfall since Wednesday totals 4.31 inches.
The Illinois River stood at 17.01 feet on Sunday afternoon. It is expected to crest on Thursday at 25.6 feet. Flood stage is 18 feet, said Onton.
Even with the expected rain, the river will not break the old record. In 2013, the river rose to 29.35 feet, which is 4 feet higher than the expected river crest, he said.
Once the rain stops on Monday the forecast calls for dryer weather through Saturday.
Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin