Today is the two year anniversary of the 1023XLC flood of 2017. July 12, 2017, I headed in very early in the morning to play my part in keeping WXLC and WKRS on the air. I had help from several others and we all worked frantically to hold back the waters.
During the night, we experienced a train of severe storms that dumped unprecedented amounts of rain in a short period of time. The Des Plains River in Gurnee hit a record high as a result and flooded many homes and businesses. Other rivers also crested at near-record highs. Schools, homes, and businesses all over Lake County were dealing with some of the worst flood conditions in the area’s history.
Unfortunately, the water from the retention pond behind the radio station overflowed its banks and emptied into our lot. We were inundated with water and were forced to kill the power in the building for safety reasons. As a result, we were off the air for 3 days. Once the waters receded, we were able to get back on the air with both stations and start the cleanup efforts. The picture below of me with my arms raised in victory was right after we were back on the air.
One good thing did come out of this catastrophe. The new owners, Alpha Media, decided it was time to relocate so this would never happen again. It took some time, but the decision was made to move to Gurnee Mills mall and start an entirely new chapter in the station’s history. The current timeline should see the stations in Gurnee Mills late this year to very early 2020.
The 1023XLC Flood of 2017 was the worst the stations had ever experienced. It was my third flood as an employee and I truly hope I never have to experience something like this again.