Flooding leads to bridge closures, submerged houses, backyard fishing

Local News

HENRY, Ill. (WMBD) — There’s typically nothing out of the ordinary about fishing especially when it’s done at a lake. However, things looked a little different Saturday in Henry, IL.

Michelle Oberlin and her family pulled up chairs and cast fishing rods into a body of water that was not on dock nor a pier, but in someone’s yard.

“I’m literally fishing in someone’s backyard,” Oberlin said.

Oberlin said Henry has been no exception to the state-wide flooding problems this year. She said the overflow of water from the Illinois river has left playgrounds submerged, bridges closed, and houses isolated and surrounded by water.

“I do know quite a few people who live out on the river and have to use a boat to get back and forth to their house,” Oberlin said.

She said some homes are even sitting on stilts. She said the closing of bridges also causes her to take extra travel time just to get to her job.

“I go 15 and a half miles out of my way just to get to work,” Oberlin said.

Although she and others said they’re managing through the flooding inconveniences, she said her family’s been enjoying fishing in their friend Mary’s backyard that’s been temporarily transformed into a pond.

Mary spent Saturday afternoon at the laundromat washing her clothes because she said her basement was so flooded, she couldn’t use her washing machine without risking electrocution.

“As long as I’ve been there for six years, this is the first time I’ve ever seen this much water,” Mary said.

She said the flooding in her home is stopping her from fully going into her basement and the flooding in her yard is stopping her from even getting her mail.

Mary said she hopes the five to six inches of water in her basement goes down, but until then she’s taking it one day at a time.

“I’ll just go about my business,” Mary said. “That’s all I can do. Go out the back door and hopefully don’t walk out to being in water.”

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