Boating restricted on Middle Fork

Boating restricted on Middle Fork

DANVILLE — River levels rose in Vermilion County on Thursday following heavy rains in northern Vermilion and southern Iroquois counties, prompting Illinois Conservation Police to restrict boating on the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River.

Conservation police have temporarily restricted public access on the Middle Fork because of rising flood waters and dangerous currents which have created conditions "significantly hazardous for public navigation," according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The restriction applies to a portion of the Middle Fork in Vermilion County from the north boundary of Potomac City Park to the south boundary of Kickapoo State Park near Oakwood.

The department has the authorization under state administrative rules to designate restricted boating areas when conditions are significantly hazardous to the public.

Access to the Middle Fork will be restored once flooding conditions improve and present no hazard to public navigation, according to the news release.

The heavy rains Wednesday through early Thursday morning also caused the North Fork of the Vermilion River to swell out of its banks on Wednesday, according to local emergency management officials.

Heavy rains of up to 4 inches fell in northern Vermilion County, triggering a flash flood warning and sending the North Fork over its banks near Bismarck.

Vermilion County Emergency Management officials had only one report of property damage from the storms, a small garage was blown apart by high winds in Ridge Farm at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

There were scattered reports of pea-size hail as the storm passed through the area, with a report of nickel-size hail west of Jamaica on Wednesday afternoon.