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Archive for April 19th, 2013

Need something to do? Theater options at LPHS and Stage 212

Posted by wlpo on April 19, 2013

Looking for something to do this weekend?  LP High School students perform the musical “Once Upon A Mattress.” It’s the story of the princess and the pea.

Performances continue at 7pm Saturday and at 2pm Sunday.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students.

Stage 212 in La Salle presents “The Dixie Swim Club”.  It’s about a group of southern women who became friends through their college swim team.  Performances are this weekend and the next.

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Flooded Peru business expects to be closed for two months

Posted by wlpo on April 19, 2013

With a name like Waterstreet Pub you’d expect it to be riverside, but thanks to flooding, the Illinois River is in the bar and grill in Peru.

Restaurant manager Tony Vaccaro was retrieving items from the building this Friday afternoon and says nearly a foot of water had flooded the bar and dining area.  He says that’s about as high as it was when it flooded in 2008 and he’s expects this time to be worse.

Vaccaro says the water came up faster this time.  Employees helped to move valuables out of the way of the water yesterday.  He thinks it will take about two months for the restaurant to re-open.

He says it’s not the best location but says where else would you put Waterstreet Pub?

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Food, showers and shelter available at IVCC

Posted by wlpo on April 19, 2013

Neighborhoods have been evacuated in Marseilles, Utica, Streator, and Ottawa.  If you were forced from your home by flooding, you’ll find food, a place to sleep and showers at IVCC’s gymnasium.

The Red Cross opened the shelter Thursday morning but it’s only been used by a few people according to director Sarah Stasik.

Area restaurants have donated food.  20-30 volunteers have been keeping it open around the clock.  It will be open at least through Saturday.

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Illinois River predicted to crest at 34.5 feet Saturday morning

Posted by wlpo on April 19, 2013

The good news: the Illinois River at La Salle won’t rise as high as once forecast.  The bad news: it has broken the old record set in 2008.

As of 3:45pm Friday, the river was just under 40 feet and predicted to crest at 34.5 feet early Saturday morning.  The previous record flood level is 33.8 feet.

Flooding has closed most of the bridges over the river include routes 251, 351, 89, and 178.  Interstate 39 and Route 23 bridges remain open.

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Options Limited To Drive Over Illinois River

Posted by wlpo on April 19, 2013

Want to get across the Illinois River in the La Salle-Peru area?  Take Interstate 39.

Peru Police made the decision shortly before 10 this morning to close the Route 251 bridge.  Earlier this morning the Route 89 bridge in Spring Valley was closed to traffic and so was Route 351 between downtown La Salle and Oglesby.

The Route 178 bridge in Utica over the Illinois River is also closed.  Route 23 over the river in Ottawa is open.

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Flooding Keeping Visitors Away From Starved Rock

Posted by wlpo on April 19, 2013

The trails at Starved Rock State Park don’t appear to be close to reopening.

According to the park’s Facebook page, they anticipate the park trails being closed most of the weekend if not the entire weekend.  Since the substation in Utica is underwater, there is no phone service to the park or Starved Rock Lodge.

Also closed around the park is the 178 bridge and Dee Bennett Road.

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Local Counties Declared Disaster Areas

Posted by wlpo on April 19, 2013

Governor Pat Quinn has officially declared Bureau, La Salle and Putnam Counties as state disaster areas.

State resources like equipment, manpower and eventually federal aid can be used by local counties to clean up after historic flooding.  In making the declaration, Quinn says “Illinois has seen an incredible level of devastation and reports indicate that conditions will get worse in the coming days”.

The governor is planning to make several stops around the state today to assess flood damage but is not scheduled to come to the Illinois Valley.

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