On a day like today is there is nothing better than spending some time on the water, but the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Water Patrol is sending out a warning to people looking to stretch their sea legs.
Senior Deputy from the Winnebago Sheriff’s Office, Wes Kemp says “The water in some spots is raised a couple of feet and its near flood stage in some spots”.
That’s the message being sent out from the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office in light of the heavy rainfall the Forrest City has experienced recently.
The conditions of the Rock River are pushing the limits of the shore line and the river patrol is enforcing a temporary no wake policy until the water recedes.
“The water’s much, much quicker as far as the current” says Kemp, “there’s a lot of debris in the water. There’s a lot of things in the water that you can’t see that are moving quickly that could be a danger to boats”.
An example of how quickly one can be swept away was a tree moving fast down the river near the Atwood Homestead Golf Course.
Even buoys the sheriff’s office placed on the river are not in their normal spots, which presents another danger of its own.
“The ‘danger’ bouys generally mean that there’s some sort of immediate danger there whether it’s the water is really low or if there’s some obstruction you can’t see” Senior Deputy Kemp explained.
We saw several boaters on the river.
And it appears they’re following the no wake policy, which the Sheriff implemented last Wednesday
Kemp also said, “one of the reasons. Besides the danger of the current, the property damage every time the water get higher is more and more”.
Some people dipped their feet in the water along the shore.
Even then, Senior Deputy Wes Kemp says that can be dangerous too.
“I wouldn’t get too close. Again the current is very fast so it’s not something you’d want to get swept away in with the water being higher around the shore line”.
Senior Deputy Kemp was not able to give me a timeline of how long the no wake policy will be in effect,