Many Stateline residents, like Mona Garcia-Vargas, woke up to see their homes completely surrounded by water Sunday morning. Most of Shore Drive in Machesney Park was closed and flooded by the Rock River.
“It’s just devastating,” said Garcia-Vargas. “You don’t know what to do when you wake up and find this. You can’t get out of the house to get groceries. My mom isn’t going to go in the freezing water.”
She says even her rain boots are useless because the water is knee deep in most spots. Sunday, Garcia-Vargas grabbed trash bags and duct tape to cover her legs in an effort to keep them dry in the freezing waters.
“I mean there’s nothing else that you can do. I live paycheck to paycheck, I pay my rent on time, I work everyday and now this happens. It’s happened two times in less than a year.”
Nearby neighbors say it feels like just yesterday they were dealing with last summer’s severe flooding.
“Actually, this seems a little worse,” said Machesney Park resident Shelby Langley. “I think it’s about three and a half feet deep in the middle, down here.”
Langley says, as a parent, she constantly lives in fear being so close to the river. She worries not only about her own family — but others in the neighborhood, too.
“It’s very stressful and it’s scary,” said Langley. “There’s other many streets all over here.”
Garcia-Vargas says her daughter and granddaughter evacuated on Saturday to be safe. But, she adds she never imagined it would get this bad in February.
“You can’t park in front of your house, you can’t walk outside. You’re praying that the river doesn’t go inside your home. It’s really hard.”
Winnebago County officials say they have set up at sandbagging station at the Roscoe Village Public Works for any residents in need.