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By Anna Lothson
Update 12:30 p.m. Saturday: As of 10:30 a.m. this morning, North Avenue, Lake Street, Washington and Madison are open to through traffic. Chicago Avenue is closed at Thatcher Avenue and will remain closed until further notice, according to a post on River Forest's website.
The Village's flood control efforts have kept the river out of residential areas and Village Staff will be onsite throughout the weekend to monitor the situation.
A special collection for flood related debris will occur on Wednesday, April 24 and Wednesday May 1 in River Forest. Residents should place all flood related debris at their curbs. Debris may be placed at the curb anytime.
Update 4:45 p.m Friday: The Des Plaines River level remains "extremely high but is slowly receding", according to the Village of River Forest's website. The Village's flood control efforts have kept the river out of residential areas and Village Staff will be onsite throughout the weekend to monitor the situation.
Lake Street, Washington Boulevard and Madison Street are open to through traffic. North Avenue remains closed between 1st Avenue and Harlem. Chicago Avenue is closed at Thatcher Avenue and will remain closed until further notice.
Flood debris may be placed on the parkway and will be collected between Wednesday, April 24 and Wednesday May 1. The overnight parking ban and time limit restrictions remain lifted until Saturday, April 20, at noon.
According to the update, the village will continue to monitor the situation closely and make available all resources to assist in the flood response. Additional communications will be provided as information becomes available.
River Forest residents are also being asked via the village's website to take a brief survey about damages they experienced. That survey can be taken by clicking here.
Braiman said the purpose of the survey is to document damage throughout the community to supply FEMA with a report to help receive any potential flooding aid reimbursement. The survey will also be used for the village's purposes in future storm water and flood plans.
Check back with OakPark.com this weekend for additional updated.
Update 2:30 p.m. Friday: Madison Street in River Forest has opened back up but Chicago Avenue at Thatcher and North Avenue between Thatcher and Harlem are still closed as crews wait for water to recede.
Assistant Village Administrator Michael Braiman said necessary barriers are still up to prevent overflow at the closed streets. Berms were placed behind homes in the River Oaks neighborhood and water was kept out of all residential areas.
"Things are going really well," he said. "At this point we are simply maintaining barriers we have in place. They're holding well."
Braiman wanted to extend gratitude to village staff and volunteers — including those from Dominican University, Trinity High School, Concordia University and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) for their help.
"We couldn't have done it without them," he said.
Update 9:30 a.m. Friday: Some roads remain closed in River Forest but the Des Plaines River has now crested.The River has peaked at 18.97 feet in River Forest, according to an update posted at 9 a.m. on the Village of River Forest's website. Roads still closed include: North Avenue between Thatcher and Harlem; Madison Street between Thatcher and First Avenue; Chicago Avenue is closed at Thatcher. Public Works crews created a barrier to help protect residential areas from flood waters. This barrier will remain in place until flood waters recede.
Some roads, however, have been opened back up. Lake Street, Division and Washington are open to through traffic. Flood mitigation efforts implemented Thursday have kept the river at bay and waters are slowly receding, according to the update. Affected residents can place flood-damaged debris may on the parkway.
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