Flood Warning System
Flooding along the Illinois River & Fox River can be predicted days in advance, giving ample warning for preparation and evacuation. In the event of a flash flood, you may be the first to notice the oncoming situation. Notify the City of Ottawa’s Police Department immediately at 1-815-433-2131. The City’s Emergency Notification System (CENS) can be activated to warn others in the area.
Tune your radio to WCMY 1430 AM for local and National Weather Service updates. Monitor the Ottawa Police Facebook page for updates and the current flooding situation.
During a Flood
- Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around road barriers. The road or bridge may be washed out. A car can float in as little as two feet of water and be washed away.
- Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Currents can be deceptive. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there before you go through an area under water.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. The number two flood killer, after drowning, is electrocution. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to Ameren IP at 1-800-755-7000.
- Turn off your electricity if your building is flooded. If you don’t feel safe doing this, call an electrician. Some appliances, such as television sets, can shock you even after they have been unplugged. Don’t use appliances or motors that have been submersed unless they have been taken apart, cleaned, dried and inspected by a professional.
- Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don’t smoke or use candles, lanterns, or open flames unless you know the gas has been turned off and the area has been thoroughly aired out.
- Carbon monoxide exhaust kills. Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machine outdoors. The same goes for camping stoves. Fumes from charcoal are especially deadly —cook with charcoal outdoors.