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Watseka braces, hopes for better weather

Watseka Mayor Bob Harwood was expected to meet with Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) officials to find out just what kind of help might be available from the state. Floodwaters were still rising. And today (Tues) more flooded sites surfaced that were not under water Monday.

The Iroquois River and Sugar Creek flood waters are threatening to make it worse than the record 2008 flood.

A Red Cross volunteer said about 50-55 evacuees have been housed at the shelter at the Trinity Church in Watseka. Scattered rain showers yet today and tonight could find the rising waters continuing.

Mayor Harwood said citizens needing help leaving their homes can contact 911 and the Watseka Fire department will respond.

Harwood said the big difference between now and 2008 flood is the January-February weather......

The city declared a local disaster Monday. IEMA plans to tour the city today to determine what assistance the state might provide.

Harwood said all city departments will remain open 24 hours per day and a citywide curfew has been set in place between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. until next Monday.

The curfew is intended to keep residents out of the water during darkness and to protect the property of evacuated homes. Police will be on boat patrols during the evening hours. There was one arrest on Monday evening for a truck driver who drove through a barricade.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kathryn Weiss crowned Punkin' Vine Queen

17-year-old Kathryn Weiss is the new queen of the Punkin Vine Fair in Newton County.  The daughter of Kyle and Karen Weiss of Brook was crowned Monday night.  Kathruyn follows up a tradition in that her sister was the fair queen in 2011.

The pageant, aired on 94.1 WGFA, was moved to the Trinity United Methodist Church in Kentland due to threatening weather.

First runnerup was Michela Rieck of Kentland.  Mackenzie Varnado of Morocco was named 2nd runnerup.  Miss Teen and Miss Congeniality was Chyenne Deno of Brook.

The Cole Swindell Concert is the fair highlight for Tuesday evening.

94.1 WGFA



  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County Fair all set, despite rain & flood

The Iroquois County Fair Board (Monday) decided to move forward with this year's 4-H and Agricultural Fair. The decision came after serious discussion to consider cancelling due to the rain, flood that left soggy conditions at the fairground.

One disappointing decision is that there will not be any RV camping at the Crescent City grounds. All other 4-H activities will go as planned.
Parking may be a challenge. The grounds are extremely wet. The carnival set-up is also being challenged for Swyear Amusements.The five-day of the fair begins Wednesday with the Queen pageant and the parade of 4-H clubs at the grandstand.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka Fire, Red Cross assist flood victims

The American Red Cross assisted 22 people at the Trinity Church shelter in Watseka Sunday night.  Additional evacuees were expected to settle in today (Monday) after local residents were forced to leave their homes this morning.  The city of Watseka's north neighborhoods are overwhelmed with flood waters from the downpours Saturday and again this morning. 

Some Watseka residents reported over an inch of rain after today's storm moved through.  There was .85 recorded at WGFA with a Saturday measurement of 3.10 inches.   Gilman, Stockland, Sheldon, Buckingham and Earl Park, Indiana all reported in nexcess of three inches Saturday.

Watseka firemen helped evacuate up to 15 people from their homes Sunday.  Most went to stay with family.  Others were made comfortable at the Trinity Church, where Red Cross spokesman Jim Ward said "there's plenty of room and sleeping cots are available."  

Watseka Mayor Bob Harwood said sandbags are available at City Hall (on Brianna Drive).  The sandbags are limited to 50 per household. 


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Flood and rain just not letting up, Watseka must cope

Our weather situation is making news across Illinois and Indiana today. Another sudden downpour of a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch (this morning) has only added to the saturated, flooded conditions.

At this point, patience is the word – as difficult as that can by for some. The drainage systems are overwhelmed.

The National Weather Service has placed east-central Illinois and north-central Indiana under a moderate risk of severe weather today. And a flash flood watch is posted.

Flood watches/warnings remain in effect for Iroquois and Ford counties, Livingston and Kankakee. Newton, Benton, Jasper, Warren, Fountain, and Parke counties in west-central Indiana are also on the alert.

The City of Watseka is close to an emergency situation. Mayor Bob Harwood tells WGFA News the west Junction at 1/24 was lost Sunday and the north side of town is barricaded.  The mayor said getting into and out of Watseka is difficult; limited routes are open for travel.

94.1 WGFA