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Kishwaukee College delays opening due to flooding

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 12:24 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 9:27 a.m. CDT

DeKalb County likely will see more rain and snow today after overnight precipitation left roads slushy and caused flooding that delayed classes at Kishwaukee College in Malta.

The community college, as well as the Center for Family Health in Malta, delayed opening until 10 a.m., while DeKalb County plow crews started clearing slush from the roads at their normal start time of 7 a.m. County authorities had received reports of cars in ditches but no serious crashes or road problems this morning.

"Without the roads being iced over and it was just a slush, we did not go out at 3 a.m." County Engineer Nathan Schwartz said. "We are out now."

The National Weather Service warns that minor flooding of water in roadways, ditches and small streams could occur until about noon today and high winds of 60 mph could occur between 5 and 11 p.m. today. The area could see up to 1 ½ inches of rain this afternoon and up to an inch of snow overnight and into Friday morning.

They have noticed some areas of water encroaching on the road, but don't have any reports of water covering the pavement. Schwartz encouraged motorists to drive slowly and cautiously, as the slush on the roads could still be slick.

Meanwhile, at Kishwaukee College, ice formed from melting snow clogged the exterior drainage systems, which caused water to back up in the parking lots, according to Rob Galick, the college's vice president of finance and administration. The water had drained by 7:45 a.m., but leaders had already announced the 10 a.m. start time.

"We had crews out there chiseling away at the ice to allow the water to drain, but we had to make a decision by 5:30 so people wouldn't get in their cars and start driving to the campus,” Galick said.

In DeKalb, personnel at Littlejohn Elementary School, 1121 School St., reported a partial power outage about 4 a.m., ComEd spokesman Paul Callighan said. ComEd crews made a temporary repair so the school was at full power by the time students arrived and expect to start the full repair after school is over.

A water main broke in DeKalb on Seventh Street near Lincoln Highway, said Mark Espy, DeKalb's assistant director of public works for street operations.

DeKalb crews were out early salting roads and are trying to clear stormwater inlets before those areas freeze when temperatures drop later today. 

"[We have] got quite a bit of flooding with the stormwater inlets that are covered," Espy said. "We see a lot of residents out there making attempts to keep those inlets open, and we really appreciate their assistance. Without them, the problem would be compounded even more."

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