Once again, we’re thankful – and also proud – that Heritage Harbor survived a second record-setting flood without major damage or safety concerns. Our hearts do go out to the many homeowners, businesses and towns along the river who were not as fortunate. We’ll be looking to help them any way we’re able in the coming days and weeks.
We’ve never seen the Illinois River rise so quickly. We knew by Wednesday that we’d likely face some flooding in the coming days, but had no idea that we’d already be 6-7 feet over normal by the time we came to work on Thursday morning. By the time the river crested at about midnight on Friday, it was close to 16 feet over normal.
We of course kept a close watch throughout, and took all the precautions we could…and finally saw the water starting to recede slowly by about 6am Saturday. We switched into recovery mode, rallied our cleanup team, and enjoyed seeing many of our guests on Saturday afternoon! Tracy’s Boat House was open, and except for the water still being high, things quickly looked close to normal again.
We are blessed that we came through this flood so well; Mother Nature can always be unpredictable. But we’re also extremely proud of the planning we did beforehand; it certainly paid off! Before we constructed the harbor, we (and many experts) designed everything to withstand (or remain above) the 100-year floodplain, with room to spare. We’re pleased that our marina infrastructure withstood record flooding, now for the second time, exactly as it was designed to do. In case you’re wondering, some of these original design elements included:
And of course, our marina facility is managed year-round by professionals with deep experience in marina operations, and staffed by a crew that is second-to-none when it comes to safety, security, professionalism and courtesy. We sincerely thank them for a job very well done this past week.
And thanks, as always, to our homeowners, boaters, and all of our guests for being a part of the Heritage Harbor family. We’re sincerely glad that this flood is, for the most part, already behind us, so that we can get right back to enjoying Heritage Harbor and boating on the Illinois Waterway!