PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — This is just one of the scenes from Monday night’s flash flooding which swept through central Illinois.
Public Works crews responded to trees downed by heavy wind and lightning throughout the night.
“During the course of that rain and wind storm, I mean the winds really got up there last night. We ended up calling in a crew because of the trees that were blocking roads and the trees that were falling down like you can see behind us here,” said Sie Maroon, Assistant Director of Operations for Peoria Public Works.
One tree, destroying part of the Children’s Home fence in Peoria.
Another tree landing on the back of a Peoria man’s car.
Maroon says the flash flooding is already deteriorating roads. Adding flooding conditions can be extremely dangerous for drivers.
“The worst thing that can happen is if someone drives through water that you can’t tell if the street has opened up, if it’s a cave-in or a sinkhole, and you’re not seeing it because of the amount of water that’s covering that. That’s probably one of the worst things that could happen outside of somebody’s car flooding out,” Maroon said.
Richland Farms is one of the lowest-laying parts of East Peoria.
Monday night, many of the area’s roads were covered with water, and homes were flooded because the levee in the center of the town was overflowing.
“What happens a lot of times when you have that much downpour in a short time, all the debris on the roads picked up and blocked the culverts,” said Fon Du Lac Park District Director Mike Johnson.
Johnson says his Department and East Peoria Public Works’ biggest challenge is keeping cars from driving into the area.
“Most people don’t realize that 6 inches of water, you’re gonna start losing control of that vehicle. 12 inches of water, your car is going to be floating,” Johnson said.
Maroon says if you can, don’t go out during flash floods.
He says it can protect you, your car, and others.
“Steer clear, stay out of it. If you can stay home or wherever you’re at. It’s not going to last a long time, it’s a matter of minutes or a matter of an hour and a half,” Maroon said.
Maroon says with more rain coming in the next couple of days, his crews are ready to jump into action and answer any calls they get.
Maroon says his crews will work to get this tree of of the Children’s home fence, take it away, and then fix the fence.
“We’re gonna get our forestry crew over here and get that cut up. we’ll get that trunk, which is pretty large, and get it on a trunk, haul it off, then next steps is to restore the fence, restore the ground. I don’t think we’re going to plant another tree there,” Maroon said.