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Ottawa Flood Commission

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Ottawa-A City Committed To Sustainable Floodplain Management

Throughout time, rivers have drawn civilization and development to their banks. They provide a natural resource that adds a plethora of assets to an area. Ottawa, Illinois located in north central Illinois, at the confluence of the Fox and Illinois River is no exception. From early Native American settlements, to the famous explorations of LaSalle and Marquette, the area has always been coveted for its location. While developing near rivers provides numerous benefits to a community, the natural function of a river basin can also bring many challenges, especially during flooding conditions. For these reasons, the City of Ottawa has worked diligently in trying to balance the River’s assets in a suitable manner.

Early Warning Flood Threat

Fox River & Illinois River

The City of Ottawa is located at the confluence of the Illinois and Fox River. These are two very large watersheds with considerable drainage areas. Due to the size and the geographical dynamics of these watersheds the City of Ottawa faces many different flooding challenges with both. Depending on storm patterns and precipitation, flooding could be exclusive to one of these basins or could be occurring in both basins simultaneously. River gauges are important tools in predicting and preparing for the extent of a flood. Fortunately, both rivers have gauging stations that can provide this vital information. The two local gauge links are:

Flood Commission in the News


The Ottawa Flood Committee will update you with the latest flood related news covering the following topics:

  • Local Flood News
  • Regional Flood News
  • State Flood News
  • Federal Flood News

You can submerge Ottawa — on your computer, that is

Charles Stanley, charless@mywebtimes.com, 815-431-4063 | Mar 16, 2016 Ottawans who want to watch their town get flooded now can do so from their home computers — with no real damage involved. A computer simulation of flooding by the Fox and Illinois rivers that can be controlled by the viewer has been launched by the National

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REZIN: Flood alliance helps keep us dry

Published in the Times July 20, 2017 To the Editor:Illinois is seeing firsthand the havoc flooding creates for people in Northern Illinois. Four counties have been declared disaster areas as the Fox River, Des Plaines River, Chain of Lakes and other waterways have wiped out property and infrastructure. The state of Illinois has the largest

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