All that snow and ice, followed by melting and rains, have made for a dangerous situation throughout our entire area.

That danger, of course, has come as flooding. A disaster emergency has been declared for parts of Machesney Park and Winnebago County. Local leaders and fire officials called a press conference Sunday afternoon, urging residents to evacuate their homes before it becomes too late.

Hundreds of homes and roads are under water and sandbagging efforts are underway.

Officials are now telling residents it's better to leave than be in danger later.

Both the Rock River and the Pecatonica Rivers are expected to crest on or by Tuesday and remain elevated for some time.

For Red Cross Assistance call (877) 597-0747.

As a result, Winnebago County is reaching out to Springfield for help.

"As chairman, I will be issuing an Emergency Disaster Declaration for Winnebago County and will be asking Gov. Pritzker and his team, as well as IEMA to assist in this disaster declaration," said Winnebago County Board Chairperson Frank Haney.

An emergency press conference highlighted the severity of the issue for those still in their homes.

"If you're seeing water around your home today, you're going to see water in your home tomorrow. The water's still rising, it's rising by the hour. We would much rather see you evacuate today so that you have more time," said Rep. John Cabello (R-68th)

While mandatory evacuations have yet to be issued, officials say you're at your own risk if you stay.

The American Red Cross has set up two flooding shelters, both here in Rockford and in Freeport.

The Rockford location is at at Brooke Road United Methodist Church at 1404 Brook Road, and the Freeport location is at Highland Community College Student Conference Center at 2998 W Pearl City Road.

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