Ottawa Building and Zoning Official Mike Sutfin credited the city's advance planning in limiting damage from flooding.
Flood waters crested at about 8 feet higher than flood stage for the Illinois River late Wednesday night, and the Fox River crested early Wednesday. The city closed streets beginning Tuesday.
“Essential we’re well prepared and we’re executing much better,” he said. “We’re getting faster at closing streets and were getting better at warning people.”
Ottawa schools followed suit announcing closures a day early for Wednesday. Ottawa High School will be closed again Thursday.
A “tail water” was expected to move through the Fox River from the confluence with the Illinois as far north as the OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Sutfin said Wednesday afternoon. That would mean a surge past the Ottawa YMCA.
“But the Y is prepared for it,” Sutfin said. “It may flood their parking lot a little, but I don’t see it getting into their building.”