Shelters open in northern Illinois for flooding victims

March 18, 2019
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The Rock River crested its banks and floods Shore Drive, seen here on Saturday, March 16, 2019, from the Bauer Parkway bridge in Machesney Park, Ill. Many rivers and creeks in the Midwest are at record levels after days of snow and rain. (Scott P. Yates/Rockford Register Star via AP)

FREEPORT, Ill. (AP) — Residents in northern and western Illinois continue to deal with flooding as rivers swell from melting snow and recent rains.

National Weather Service readings Monday show major flooding along the Pecatonica River at Shirland and Freeport and the Rock River in the Rockford area and Moline. The Mississippi River also is at major flood stage from New Boston, Illinois, south to Burlington, Iowa.

The American Red Cross has opened shelters in Rockford and Freeport and is giving free meals out in western Illinois to those displaced by flooding and volunteers.

Freeport City Manager Lowell Crow says officials expect the Pecatonica River “to possibly rise to a record level or at least to a level we haven’t seen in 50 years.”