By: Christine Souders
If you cross one of the Milan bridges, you might notice something missing from the rock river: Water. This year's drought has turned a once rushing river to puddles.
The LaMay Family often goes fishing and canoeing on the Rock River in Milan, but gradually over the past month they've been watching the water disappear, and they've never seen the river like this.
"not every day you go out and walk on the river," and James LaMay is definitely not kidding. He and his family went to a spot near the Big Island Pathway, on the rock river, and you can literally stand on dry land, underneath the Milan bridge.
His uncle Andrew says in his 42 years of living here, the water level has never been this bad, "It don't even look like a river anymore, it's dried up and gone."
Jim Stilman monitors the water levels on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. He says the Rock River is nearly 2 feet below the normal average, "We just haven't had enough rain, and not much runoff to get a lot of water back into the rivers."
Stilman says we need about 2 to 3 inches of rain to help replenish the rock, and soon, "If this pattern continues, it may be next spring before you really see water levels come up a lot."
We're told even though September is typically a dry month, this month's water levels are unusual, in fact we maybe only see levels like this once or twice a decade.