Residents Responding to the Kankakee River Flooding

Feb 22, 2018

Flooding near Schneider.
Credit Marc Chase / Northwest Indiana Times

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Flooding on the Kankakee River continues to present challenges for those living in Schneider. Todd Kluber, Meteorologist with the Chicago National Weather Service in Romeoville, on Wednesday said parts of the river will remain a concern in the short term.

"The Kankakee is reaching fairly high levels basically along the whole stretch of the river at this point," Kluber says. "Again because of those four to six inches of rainfall rains over the past few days. What we're looking at though is that unlike what we're seeing at the Little Calumet where it will come down, the Kankakee will continue to hold steady at major flooding levels through the next several days and even into early next week for some locations."

Kluber said Kouts and Shelby is included among the areas where the river level will hold steady for the next several days.  He says the flood stage at Kouts starts at 11 feet.  It reached 13.7 feet on Wednesday at Kouts and it's expected to rise to 14.3 feet in the area by this weekend.  The impact water levels have is different at different locations.

Many residents of the town of Schneider, located in unincorporated Cedar Creek Township are doing what they can to ward off the water, according to Fire Chief Ken Belshaw.

"They got a few houses out here, eight I think the total that are right on the river in between the river and the dike, and with the river coming up it's flooded into their houses so" Belshaw says. "We're just trying to build sandbags to dike the water away from the houses and pump as much water as we can away from the houses.  Hopefully people won't have any more problems there tonight."

As of Thursday afternoon Belshaw said the water was not in anyone's houses, but it had reached the foundations.  He says about 15 homes and 25 to 30 people are affected by the flooding in Schneider.  Residents along the river had been sand bagging since Wednesday and the fire department started helping them at about 5:30 a.m. Thursday. They worked into at least the late afternoon.  Belshaw says the sandbags appear to be working.  

No one was hurt or evacuated and Belshaw said no one got sick as of Thursday.  Belshaw says everyone is out of the their homes. The fire department removed one woman from her home, but she was not trapped.