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Residents removed from Ravine Woods

Flood waters near record height

MORRIS — Just when you thought 2020 couldn't be any worse.

Some apartments of Ravine Woods, located on Ottawa Bend Dr. in Morris, were evacuated Tuesday as Nettle Creek continued to rise and flooded the parking lot and nearly came inside some of the buildings.

Morris Fire and Rescue and Minooka Fire and Rescue teams were on hand to assist residents from the buildings, while Lisbon Fire Department was on hand for other support.

"The Illinois River came up just shy of the record of 24.9 feet," Morris Fire and Protection District Chief Tracy Steffes said. "It crested at 24.8 feet. We know from the past which properties are most affected, and Ravine Woods is one of them."

Steffes said that there was no mandatory evacuation of the complex.

"When the water behind the complex gets to about five feet, the parking lot starts to fill up and people can't come and go from their buildings," Steffes said. "A lot of people say they are going to stay and wait it out, but when it keeps rising, they realize want to get out.

"So, we sent our water rescue vehicle out there with some boats and helped people get out. They can go stay with a relative or friends."

Steffes also noted that the boats and rescue vehicle were necessary precautions for the health and safety of the tenants. He also said they removed approximately 25 people from the complex.

"The water is not very warm yet," Steffes said. "Nor is it very clean. There is a lot of bacteria in the water. There were no injuries of anyone we took out."

It was part of a busy day for the department.

Morris and Minooka Fire and Protection Districts also performed a water rescue on the 2800 block of Cemetary Road before being called to Ravine Woods. Steffes said that a juvenile was at home on Cemetary Road and the water began coming into the house, so they called the fire department.

"I called Minooka to help us with that one," Steffes said. "They have a water rescue vehicle similar to ours, and I wanted to have someone on the scene in case something happened to our rescue squad. We were able to go in and get the juvenile, then we got the call to Ravine Woods, so I sent Minooka over there to help as well.

"We also had Lisbon Fire Department on hand in case there was a call while we were at Ravine Woods, and there was. Someone's foot slipped onto the gas pedal as they were parking on Jefferson Street and jumped the curb and hit a building. I didn't know what kind of damage there was, so I sent Lisbon over there along with a couple of our guys. There were no injuries there, either."

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