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Local

Flooding closes part of Route 47 in Morris

Heavy rains flood portions of Morris, Grundy County

The sky opened up on Friday and washed away plans for outdoor activities at the 71st Annual Grundy County Corn Festival in Morris, forcing the Corn Queen Coronation indoors and canceling the parade, while shutting down the carnival and other events.

By the time the rain came to a halt on Saturday, Mother Nature had dumped 7.5 inches on the city of Morris, 7.6 inches in Seneca, and nearly 8 inches in Coal City, according to reports from the National Weather Service.

Two campers near Gebhard Woods had to be rescued when their campsite was overtaken with water around 6 a.m. on Saturday.

In Morris, the normally peaceful Nettle Creek surged well beyond its banks, flooding basements and backyards and leaving a portion of Goold Park under water. The Morris Pool was covered with several feet of flood water, while the lower parking lot and much of the grassy areas in the park were under water.

Along the Illinois River, the rising water completely covered the boat launch area in William G. Stratton State Park, forcing the cancellation of the Grundy County Corn Fest fireworks show. By Sunday evening, the Illinois River was at 18 feet, two feet above flood stage. The river slowly started to fall after that, and was expected to be below flood stage by late Monday.

Morris Public Works officials provided a sand bagging station for homeowners in Goold Park, while the Grundy County Emergency Management Agency did the same for all Grundy County residents at the Old Highway Garage in Morris.

One of the worst spots in Morris was Route 47 at Bedford Road/Route 6.

Water began to collect on the roadway on Saturday, and by Sunday the southbound lanes had been shut down. Vehicles continued to travel north but splashing though at least two feet of water.

Late Monday night, the entire intersection was shut down and traffic rerouted. Only "high profile" vehicles were being allowed to pass northbound on Route 47, while all other traffic was diverted to Waverly Street. Liberty Street between Waverly and Bedford was also shut down due to standing water.

"Officials are unable to say when the roadway till be open," the Morris Police Department said in a public information post on Facebook on Monday afternoon. "The structural issue causing the flooding cannot be addressed until the water recedes."

The Illinois State Police reported a number of roadways affected both during the storm on Friday night and continuing into Saturday and Sunday as more rain fell.

On Friday night, I-80 westbound between I-55 and Ridge Road in Minooka had to be shut down as waters raced over the roadway, causing a handful of spin outs but no major incidents.

By the time Saturday morning arrived, a portion of Route 52 had to be closed, with flooding at Route 52 and Ashley Road causing a crash with a rolled over semi.

All of Route 52 between Brisbin Road and Route 47 was shut down due to flooding. Portions of Route 47 near Saratoga School remained open but water on the roadway caused cars to travel through single file in the center lane. The Saratoga School parking lot was also flooded.

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