A flood warning is in effect for parts of Central Illinois as first responders have taken to social media to warn motorists about flooded rivers and streams that have covered roads and streets.
A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for all of central Illinois through this evening. Saturated soils will result in rapid runoff from any additional showers and thunderstorms today. Any thunderstorms will be capable of producing heavy rain that could result in flash flooding. pic.twitter.com/hxzJv3NvBI— NWS Lincoln IL (@NWSLincolnIL) May 2, 2019
On Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Lincoln issued a flood warning for McLean, Logan, DeWitt and southeastern Tazewell counties.
“Local law enforcement and the public reported flooding has closed several roads, due to 2 to 4 inches of rain since (Tuesday) afternoon,” NWS stated in a press release Wednesday morning. “The road itself may be compromised in some areas, especially in rural locations. Any rain the rest of the morning will be light, but the water will be slow to recede due to the saturated soil and full drainage ditches. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, country roads, farmland and other low-lying spots.”
Illinois State University’s Director of Emergency Management Eric Hodges said the flood warning and continued rain does not pose a risk to the university campus.
“Right at the core of campus, we’re not in a 100-year flood plain or a 500-year flood plain. The only real waterway we have running through campus is the creek over by Adelaide Street, which runs next to the Nelson Smith building and Tri-Towers,” Hodges said.
“Even on the worst days it doesn’t tend to overshoot the banks, so we’re not really in a big flood threat. Our biggest threat by water is flash-flooding,” he said.
“So, from a very strong or fast downpour from a storm we may get some flash flooding on the streets, but they tend to go away pretty quick. The rain that’s coming over the next couple of days isn’t really of that heavy variety, so we haven’t seen that in a year or two.”
Hodges added the biggest advice he could offer the ISU community is even if one sees a few inches of standing water on the roads, don’t try to cross it.
“Only a few inches of water on the roadways can usher away a vehicle. [One of the biggest threats] in all of severe weather is flood roads and people not realizing the dangers of that little of water being placed on the roads,” he said.
Weather forecasts predict a 20% chance of precipitation for Friday, 50% precipitation for Saturday and 10% precipitation for Sunday.
A flash flood watch remains in effect for most of Central Illinois until 7 p.m. Thursday.