Change in Restrictions on the Rock River 7/28/08

Winnebago County Sheriff's PoliceNews Media Release News  Release Number2008 - 039
Information:  Change In Restrictions On The Rock River In Winnebago County
Date: 07/28/08 Time:    11:00 AM Page  1  of  1

  NARRATIVE:The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has lifted its restriction which closed the river, and the Rock River in Winnebago County is now open.  The Sheriff’s Department inspected the river conditions earlier today, and made a recommendation to DNR that the conditions which existed previously that caused the closure were no longer such a significant hazard.  Sheriff Meyers has implemented a “NO WAKE” order for the entire river in Winnebago County.  This will allow residents along the river access to the water to inspect their property and piers, and make appropriate repairs.  This will also allow the agencies with boat ramps and docks to make any repairs to their areas, as well.  The Sheriff’s Department will be working with the Winnebago County Highway Department to remove the large number of trees and other debris that is in the river, caught on bridges and other obstructions, from the recent floods. Although the river is back in its banks and the DNR has re-opened the river, recreational users should avoid using the river, but if you venture onto the water, please exercise caution and use good judgment.  The water is still higher than normal, and the current is flowing at a faster than normal rate.  Skill and experience levels are more the concern now than the water conditions as far as safety considerations.  The presence of debris in the river creates hazardous conditions, which are difficult to detect.  Additionally, the increased water flow creates a much faster current than what has been experienced over the normally lower water levels.  These conditions increase the likelihood of problems for boaters, which results in exposing first responders to dangerous conditions should a rescue situation develop. Residents who live along the river who would like assistance in removing debris along their property should call the Winnebago County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 815-319-6215 to provide their name, address, contact phone number, and the nature of the debris.   For current river conditions, and any further updates, contact the Sheriff’s Office at (815) 319-6300, or the Rock River information telephone line at (815) 316-8888.