‘We’re nervous’: As flooding worsens in Crystal Lake, residents desperate for a solution

Those who live at Schoepp’s Cottonwood Resort in Crystal Lake say they’re hoping answers will come from a community meeting to address flooding Monday night.

Bill McFarland, who organizes community events for the resort, said he’s been calling agencies from the Governor’s Office to the National Guard to express his concern about the issue.

“I called all these people to say, ‘Hey, we live here.’ This is a retirement community, it’s not just a weekend getaway,” he said.

Historically, the communities surrounding Crystal Lake have struggled with flooding issues. However, McFarland says this amount of water is uncommon for their community.

“We have a new weather trend,” he said. “Last year we had a lot more rain, this year we had a lot more rain. Because we have basin lakes, they have no place to drain.”

McFarland said residents have been told to pump the water from the lake, but with recent rains, they haven’t been able to pump fast enough.

“We’re kind of between a rock and a hard place,” he said. “They say pump, and we pump. The rain comes down faster.”

The main entrances into the resort have flooded in recent days, leaving other neighbors concerned as to what would happen should there be an emergency.

“The people here have no emergency services because how are they going to get in?” Beth Stellberg said. “The roads are closed. There’s no access that isn’t underwater.”

Stellberg and McFarland are hopeful a solution can be found before the flooding worsens.

“It’s to the point now where people’s livelihoods and businesses are being destroyed,” she said.
Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.