Cristobal Update

Weekend Update. Absolutely beautiful weather for enjoying the river so make time to get out on it. I received an email from the NWS about the potential for heavy rainfall that could impact the Midwest region starting on Tuesday and lasting till Thursday from the remnants of tropical storm CRISTOBAL. It is to early to predict the exact track of the storm or the amount of rainfall that may occur from this storm. By Sunday night they will have a better idea where the heavy rain fall may occur. Storms like this have dumped several inches of rainfall in the past and residents should monitor future forecasts for updates. We have been doing great so far this spring dodging the bullet of storms in our basin. Lets hope this one makes a right turn as it heads towards the Midwest
. The river has become very busy with the warm weather we are having. Please practice defensive boat driving as more people venture out on the water for the first time to relearn there boat handling skills. This is especially important with people that are on jet skies for the first time. They may not always look before making turns and we need to be ready to correct our direction to not cause an accident. I was by atwood Thursday night on land and saw a gentleman on a pontoon have engine trouble and a fire occurred with his engine. It was obvious he did not have a working fire extinguisher. He was forced to use a cup and it took some time to put the fire out using river water. It could have been much worse, thankfully him and his dog survived. Please take a minute to check your boat for the items the DNR looks for when they pull us over for a safety check. These include a fire extinguisher that is charged. This is either by the gauge on it saying good or if it does not have a gauge that when the white button is pressed down it springs back up. Also have a paddle, anchor with a long rope, life jackets and a cushion (throwable). You must have a working bildge pump or a bailing devise on board. Your battery must be strapped down and have the terminals covered or be in a battery box with a lid. Make sure your horn works or have a whistle. To be legal jet skiers must wear there kill switch. Boats also have the cord that is supposed to be worn by the driver when the boat is moving. Most of us in a boat dont do this but if pulled over by DNR they will check that we have the cord and are wearing it FYI. If you stop to tow a boat the most important thing is to use at least a 50 foot tow rope. If the rope is to short it is very difficult to control the boat being towed. Also tell the occupants of the boat being towed to not sit in the front of the boat as this will cause the boat to plow water. If they trim up the motor it will also stop their boat from working against the tow boat providing assistance. L.E.D. lights are cheap and I recommend having a couple on your dock to aid boaters at night from hitting your dock. Also have a flashlight and plastic cup on board. I cant tell people how often I see a boat out at night without a back light on. This is very dangerous and the flashlight with a cup taped to it is a great back-up till we get back home and fix the broken light issue. Lets all do our part to have a safe and fun summer on the beautiful ROCK RIVER.

Memorial Day Weekend Update 2020

Memorial weekend update: The rain on Saturday to our west has caused a spike in the river levels. The call has been made to have the dam gates adjusted to a proactive level this morning. With the rain in the forecast for the next several days it does not look good for our drainage basin. The fox river is flooding from last weeks rain event. We were all hoping we could dodge a bullet for our area going to no-wake this weekend. If todays adjustment doesnt work and more rain hits our basin we will probably see the river go to no-wake for a bit. We will keep everyone posted as to any changes in river status. The entire midwest is feeling the effects from the ground saturation levels staying at 90% due to the cool and damp spring we have been having. We are all frustrated that this is the forth year in a row for elevated river levels. Mother nature is in charge of the show and none of us are a fan of her at the moment

River Update 4/19/20

Weekend update: I hope everyone is doing well with these uncertain times we are facing.We are better off than some states around us with silly restrictions they face. We are allowed to cut our grass with out getting a fine. We are also allowed to go for a boat ride if we chose to do so. The area rivers are continuing a slow descent which is a welcome relief for us all. The flow rate at rockton is still around 4.5 million gallons of water per minute is the reason for elevated river levels for our area. The forecast for this week looks to have rain totals stay less than 1″ which will help to not cause any problems for us. These sunny and windy days are helping to dry out farm fields in our drainage basin. This is the key to allow light rain events a place to soak into instead of instantly hitting area rivers. Our region is still saturated but so far things look much better than this time last year. Lets keep our fingers crossed that May first brings some needed relief for the state to try to get back on the road to recovery. Stay safe and healthy and pray for the sun and wind to continue to bless our area.

River Update 4/4/20

Weekend update: The dam is running at a proactive level as the gauge shows. Area rivers are slowly dropping to the relief of residents. If we could get the pecatonica river to drop as fast as the kishwaukee river things would be improving faster here. We need to keep practicing social distancing to keep safe. If home school parents want an interesting science project, a trip to the bike path bridge just downstream of the dam is an interesting place to visit . The gates on the dam are open about 3/4 of the way. This causes a rush of water through them that is incredible to witness. Standing on the walk path and seeing and hearing 5,700,000 gallons of water pass underneath you every minute is mind blowing. We are at a time when we are out in public we are advised to wear a mask or scarf to help protect our self and others. If you chose to do this please practice safe social distancing measures. You can also stay in your car and from the parking lot south of davis park witness the power of the turbulent discharge of the water through our dam. Please stay safe during these uncertain times we are all facing everyday.

River Update 3/20/20

RIVER UPDATE. Mother nature gave us all some welcome relief by not dumping on our basin as much rain as originally thought. Yes the sump pumps are running but the river is a far cry from this time last year. As we all struggle with what the world is dumping on us let us hope it will be over by the time summer gets here. The dam is still running at a proactive level of between 1.5/1.8 as set in the operations plan. We will get through this in time and I wish all fellow river residents prayers with your day to day challenges during these uncertain times.

River Update 3/11/20

Looks like we received less rain in the basin than was projected. Gages have started to flat line which is good news for residents sump pumps. There is more rain in the forecast this week unfortunately. As with all rain events if it stays more south we will see less of a rise here. Sheriff Caruana monitors the dam on a daily basis and will have com-ed go back out when needed for necessary adjustments. Thank you Com-ed and Sheriff Caruana for your non stop attention to area residents river concerns. The vast majority of us approve of your efforts. Keep up the great work.

River Update 3/10/20

Did a check of area dams. Our dam is at 70% open as of 10:00. The beloit dam is at 30% open at 10:00. The reason we are open more is due to the fact of the pec. and sugar rivers being out of their banks. The kish. river is giving its flow to byron. All dams in the country open as needed as the flow rates increase and close as the flow decreases. We should not send excessive water to ogle county and rock county should not send excessive water to us. Everyone works together to the benefit of all. The bottom line is mother nature is in charge of the show and we all just need to be patient. Sun,wind and warm temps. are our only hope for a speedy recovery.

River Status 3/7/20

From Steve Lucas:

Thank you Sheriff Caruana and com-ed for continuing to monitor our river levels and make the necessary gate adjustments as needed for winnebago county as was done this morning. Yes there is a select few residents that have distressed flood plane property that will always complain but the vast majority of us are great full for your nonstop efforts. Local fire depts. are downtown this morning doing spring training exercises to get ready to assist should the need arise this summer for their assistance. Water levels are not out of the normal at the present time as a handful of complaining residents are trying to tell us. You would think that after the educational town hall meeting the NWS held a year ago people would start to except how rivers work when there is to much ground water present. There is no way to dictate common sense and some people just want to spend every waking minute complaining about everything. For the tens of thousands of residents that use our river each summer spring fever is here and the days of being out on our beautiful river are inching closer to reality