Prophetstown, Whiteside Co IL

A heavy rain Sunday night which extended well into Wisconsin caused all the tributaries of the Rock River to rise in many cases to record heights and at all cities along the river, Janesville, South Beloit, Rockton and Rockford,hundred of homes had to be vacated Monday. At Rockford about 12 city blocks were under water and ice was dynamited at one of the bridges in the business section to protect hte downtown area. Water wsa higher at Sterling and Dixon than it was a year ago when the river went out of its banks. Rainfall here wsa 2.43 inches Sunday night. The temperature fell steadily Monday and Tuesday and by Tuesday night was down close to zero with ahard wind adding to its sharpness.

At noon Tuesday the water had reached a dept of over two feet higher than in February of last year at the Prophetstown city park. During the noon hour a rise of seven inches brought it up to the door of the pump house and a crew of a dozen men were sealing the doors and all possible openings with sandbags to keep the water from entering and interfering with pumping. At that time the water was right up to the door sill and lacked only about a foot of reaching the top of the wall enclosing one of the wells. Mayor Brydia notified all users of water Tuesday forenoon to boil water used for any cooking and drinking.

In 1937 the high water reached the peak about February 24, almost a month later than this flood. At that time the highest water was on the farm lands northeast of the city and was caused by ice gorges at the Lyndon bridge and back of the David Spotts and Richmond farms on which Sam Tate and Philip Oetzel were tenants. This caused the water to cut across the flats and cover the farms mentioned and the August Larson, Clarence Olinger, William Obendorf and other farms in that section on which the owners and tenants were marooned for about ten days. During that flood the Portland section did not suffer so much.

The present high water has reched Prophetstown without aparent interruption and is being slowed up south and west by a gorge near Erie. This has raised the water at this point much higher than last year and the farms in the lowlands of Portland are covered. At the Ralph Johnson farm the water stands over two feet deep in the barn and at noon Tuesday ran into the basement of the house. Mr. Johnson has suffered heavy loss. He had three horses, five cows, 22 fattening steers, 80 fat hogs and 28 brook sows and Mrs. Johnson informed us over the telephone Tuesday afternoon that she feared most of the fattenign hogs were lost. It was impossible for help to reach them or for the stock to be removed on account of the floating ice.

Frank Glass, one of the C.B. & O maintenance crew, said Tuesday noon that the water was 41 inches higher on the railroad bridge west of town than it was last year and stood about 20 inches from the bridge plates. Water is up to the plates at the wooden bridge where the railroad crosses the George Fisk farm across the river. The crew is making hourly reports and had to go out several tiems in the night. Rock Island trains awere routed over the Q through here Monday on account of the flood at Tiskilwa.

William Francis and his dog were rescued Tuesday noon by his nephew, Kermit Peterson. Bill lives in his cottage on Big Island ac ouple of miles north of the city. He delayed leaving his place until Tuesday forenoon, then came down the open water in his boat but couldn't reach either shore on account of the floating ice. The fire department was called shortly after noon and went to the bridge prepared to reach Francis's boat as it passed under the bridge. Kermit took a boat behind his car down around the Oxbow buildings and managed to push the boat ahead of him out on the ice to where Francis coule reach it and he wsa brought to town.

Traffic on Route 6, the highway across from Joliet west to Moline, was stopped Monday by water over the pavement at Annawan. Traffic was blocked on Route 78 about two miles north of Prophetstown Tuesday forenoon on account of water over the pavement north of the bridge; by Tuesday n ight it wsa crossing the pavement just at the edge of town near the John Hanson farm. The water was within a foot and a half of the Wirth Andrews house north of the bridge and was up to the stables on the Mosher Oxbow farm.

Elmer Maxfield who works for Will tber at the latters's gravel pit on the riverbank west of the bridge was rescued with difficulty Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Taber and Perry Richards went after him and pulled him for a distance in a boat but became exhausted and were obliged to return to town for help. Thinking that he was being deserted, Maxfiedl lef the boat and went into the water up to his waist. He was brought out by Edmund Veryaecke and Harry Meier, Maxfield was in an exhausted condition and Dr. Vandermyde, who had been called and was in waiting for him, treated him.

Prophetstown Echo January 26, 1938