With nearly two inches of rain over the weekend, more rain Monday and additional rain anticipated on Tuesday, River Forest officials are taking no chances.

As the Des Plaines River crept closer to Chicago Avenue on Sunday, workers placed six concrete barriers, called “Jersey barriers,” on the parkway on the northwest side of Chicago Avenue at Thatcher on Sunday.

“The northwest corner is the most difficult to deal with,” Public Works Director Greg Kramer said Tuesday, noting the presence of a traffic signal and a control box at the site.

Should the river overflow its banks and flood Chicago Avenue, Kramer said, placing the other six or seven barriers across Chicago Avenue is “only a couple hour operation.”

Kramer said he was encouraged by lowered river level predictions released Tuesday morning for Riverside. The river is currently expected to crest in Riverside early Wednesday morning below flood stage.

The wild card in the situation is a prediction of scattered but locally heavy rains Tuesday. Kramer said village staff continues to monitor rainfall forecasts for both Des Plaines to the north and Riverside to the south.

“It depends on where the rain falls,” he said, noting that heavy rains north of River Forest would present a potential problem while rain to the south would not.

-Bill Dwyer

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