IL-78 near Prophetstown closed, homes affected by Rock River ice jam

PROPHETSTOWN, Illinois — The Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department has closed off Illinois Route 78 between Lyndon and Prophetstown as it monitors an ice jam build-up on Rock River near Prophetstown State Park.

Chief Deputy Seth Janssen with the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office says the surrounding area is mostly farmland, but he’s keeping a close eye on several homes along Illinois Route 78 between Lyndon and Prophetstown.

“To the East, residents on Lyndon Road, Anderson Road, Thunder Road and Howard Road may be affected,” he adds.

Based on last year’s experience, he says he is also watching low-lying areas of Moline Road.

Photos taken by the Illinois State Police Air Operations show sheets of white ice jamming the river in spots.

In a Facebook post, Whiteside County Emergency Management says “the main ice jam extends from just upstream of the Prophetstown State Park to roughly Felton Rd as an East/West reference. There is another jam downstream near the Howard Rd/Thunder Rd area, and a couple of areas slightly backed up between there and the Erie Rd bridge.

“From the Erie Rd bridge as far as they eye can see into Henry County past the Route 92 bridge, the river remains nearly 100 percent covered in sheet ice,” it says.

Janssen urges residents in low-lying area to monitor river levels as they can change rapidly.

With ice jams, “water levels are unpredictable and could see rises and falls of several feet within couple of hours,” he says.

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