Illinois cities along Mississippi River brace for weekend flooding

It should go without saying, but Illinois conservation police are having to tell people to stay off of the state's flooded rivers. 

The Mississippi, the Rock, the Illinois, the Big Muddy, and the Ohio rivers are all flooded or coming down from being flooded.

Rachel Torbert with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said that means the rivers are dangerous. She said boaters need to stay out of the water. 

"Even if IDNR hasn't closed those waterways to recreational boating, it's still dangerous and we'd just ask folks to stay off the water," Torbert said. "If the river is at flood stage, it not only puts boaters' safety at risk, it puts our first responders and law enforcement at risk as well."

Torbet said the floods washed all sorts of things into the water that can be dangerous to people in canoes and kayaks.  

"We're talking about branches and other things that may be along the river's edge that could easily ensnare or trap someone," Torbert said. "And the things that you can't see are the things that are the most dangerous."

Forecasters said the Mississippi River could stay flooded throughout the summer. 

Reporter

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.