BLOOMINGTON — Flooding problems are being reported in several areas of Central Illinois as more heavy rain and strong thunderstorms are expected through this afternoon.
Gov. Pat Quinn has activated the State Incident Response Center (SIRC) in Springfield to assess flooding and severe weather in several areas of the state and expedite assistance that may be needed by local public safety officials to protect citizens.
Quinn was being briefed by emergency officials before traveling to assess storm damage and response across the state.
Periods of thunderstorms are expected through sunset today and forecasters with the National Weather Service in Lincoln say there is a slight risk that some of these storms will be severe with large hail and damaging winds being the primary threat.
An isolated tornado is also possible. Some of the storms will contain heavy rainfall of two to three inches which could lead to flash flooding in ditches, low-lying roads, underpasses and poor drainage areas. A wind advisory is also in effect for today.
Flooding has been reported in Roanoke and several residents have been evacuated from their homes. Streator, Minonk and Dana have also reported flooding. The Red Cross has opened a shelter in response to flooding in Oglesby for Utica residents who have been evacuated because of rising waters.
All Fieldcrest schools, and Flanagan-Cornell schools are closed because of the extreme rain and widespread flooding in the area. A couple of flights from the Central Illinois Regional Airport were cancelled early Thursday, but as of 7:15 a.m., the remainder of flights remained on schedule.
The NWS reported 4.26 inches of rain fell in Germantown Hills and 4.33 inches fell in Minonk in Woodford County yesterday.
Today’s high is expected to be near 73 degrees, but showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout the day. Tonight, the overnight low will dip to 38 degrees and there is a 40 percent chance of showers in the forecast for Friday with a high near 47 degrees. Temperatures will warm up slightly over the weekend. Saturday’s high is expected to be 52 and Sunday’s high should be near 60 degrees.
This story will be updated.