Local Editorials

Our view: Thumbs-up, thumbs-down: Public works employees respond quickly to flooding

Thumbs-up: To the public works employees who have worked 24/7 to ensure McHenry County residents have sandbags to protect their homes from flood damage. Fox River flooding is expected to be worse than in 2008 and 2013, when the river reached 10.72 feet at the Algonquin tailwater, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Flood stage at the tailwater is 9.5 feet. Flood prevention efforts are taking place countywide with township highway departments – including Algonquin, Burton, McHenry and Nunda – offering sandbags for residents. Crews in Algonquin had a goal to fill about 17,000 sandbags by Friday. The effort is much appreciated by homeowners along the Fox River, and thanks to the hardworking public works staffs, hopefully, damage to homes will be minimal.

Thumbs-up: To Woodstock City Council for taking the time to identify uses for buildings in part of the historic square to guide and attract developers. There have been many suggested uses for the properties, but a need for a unified vision takes precedence. A good blueprint is needed first to develop the square as a continued place for all of Woodstock to enjoy.

Thumbs-up: To all of the volunteers who make Fiesta Days of McHenry possible. Take a minute this weekend – between sipping craft beers, the carnival rides and watching the valve cover racing – to thank the volunteers who put on this McHenry event that so many of us look forward to each summer. The 69th annual festival – one of the largest in Illinois – runs July 13 to 23, with events taking place at Petersen and Veterans Memorial parks and throughout McHenry. This year, organizers added an extra day to the Music Fest, running July 13 through 16.

Thumbs-up: To the Gavers Community Barndance in Woodstock, hosted by Steve Gavers, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1994. The event returns tonight to Emricson Park in Woodstock, offering fun and music to raise funds for cancer programs as well as bringing together survivors and those recently diagnosed. The annual event has raised more than $7 million since it began 18 years ago.

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