Warnings issued on Vermilion, tributaries

DANVILLE - With local rivers already running high, local, state and national officials are warning area residents to stay away from waterways and to be prepared for flooding as weather reports predict heavy rains in the next 48 hours.

Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Lincoln issued a flood warning for the Vermilion River, and for the second time in less than a week, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police have temporarily restricted public access on the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River due to rising flood waters and dangerous currents. Public access along the Middle Fork was previously restricted April 11-15 for similar conditions.

The Salt Fork, Middle Fork and North Fork in Champaign and Vermilion counties converge west of Danville to form the Vermilion River that flows through south Danville to the Wabash River in Indiana. The weather service announced this afternoon that an extended period of heavy rains is expected for the next 48 hours that will result in flooding along the Vermilion River. People along the river need to prepare for flooding, according to the weather service.

Ted Fisher with the Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency said this afternoon that the Middlefork and North Fork branches and the Vermilion River are all pretty high right now, although they are not creating any flooding issues, but any additional rains will not help the situation.

He said the Vermilion, which generally runs at about 3-4 feet, is at 12 feet right now, and the Middle Fork, which is normally at about a foot, is over 5 feet, and the North Fork, which flows at about 3 feet, is over 10 feet currently.

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