Rock River flooding forces foster kids from home

A Coal Valley, Illinois, family began to pick up the pieces Tuesday, after the flooded Rock River damaged their home, business, and family.

What was once a kids’ skateboard ramp now funnels water away from John Mans’ basement.

“From Friday night on, I’ve been up day and night. I’ve got shop-vacs everywhere, sump pumps,” said Mans.

His wife Tricia’s home daycare is also shut down, thanks to a flooded yard and basement.

“I’ve displaced all my families. I have no income. Nothing, until we can get back up and running, and everything’s clear in the basement and outside,” said Tricia.

Both agree, though, that the damage to their house, garage, and yard is secondary to what the whole mess has meant for their children. On Monday, conditions at the house forced the Mans’ two foster kids from the home.

“They have to protect the kids, but it is extremely hard to let the baby go, because we’ve had her since she was a newborn. And the 14-year-old came from a bad family, so she didn’t quite understand what was going on, and it made it extremely hard for her,” said Tricia.

Not helping the whole mess is a pump that is removing water from the south side of Route 6.

“We’re gonna get water anyway, but pumping that water right back towards us isn’t helping any,” said John.

In an email, a Village trustee said that although it is pumping water to the north side, “we really are not adding water that wasn’t already there.”

It’s left the sheriff’s deputy and wife, though, feeling alone.

“My whole life is protecting and helping other people.  And then it seems like, in a time of need, other than your friends and family, you know… “

Now, John and Tricia are just starting to clean up and put their family back together.

“We miss them already. I know its only been a day, but I just hope it goes down, so we can get things cleaned up so they can come back,” said John.

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