Local businesses feel impact of Highway 78 closure

WHITESIDE COUNTY, Illinois - Flood water caused by ice jams along the Rock River continue to cause road closures throughout Whiteside County in Western Illinois.

Highway 78 between Prophetstown and Lyndon has been closed since Feb. 24.

Related: Highway 78 back open after flooding and icy conditions

On Feb. 28, an employee at a Casey's General Store, near the spot where IL-78 is shutdown, said business has been slow.

Often, the customers entering the business are looking for directions.

"Some people are frustrated," said Santana Todd. "They're like 'why can't we get around this? We need to get here and we are short on time!"

She said other people are not as upset, but still need help getting around.

"Other people are like 'Well, we are up for a drive," Todd said. "Where do we go?"

Chief Deputy Seth Janssen with the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office says while the river is expected to begin going down this week, the ice will likely remain in the area and could even expand.

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

The department continues to ask all travelers in that area to respect road closure signs and other safety measures that have been put in place to prevent tragedy.

"Turn Around, Don't Drown" continues to be the message in the flooded area.

Still, some vehicles ignore the warning signs.

Police have been issuing citations and towing some vehicles who ignore the signs.

The Illinois State Police posted to Facebook saying one car ignored the signs and got stuck.

Highway 78 will remain closed in the days ahead, until the water is gone and the road is safe to travel on again.

As ice continues down stream, flood concerns in other communities are on the rise.

To check on Rock River levels in Moline: Click Here. 

To Check on Rock River levels near Joslin : Click Here. 

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