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Songs and Stories
     June 3, 2019      #50-154 SsK

The Great Flood of 1957

El gran diluvio de 1957

By Jack Klasey

It was 92 degrees and humid on Thursday, July 11, 1957; Kankakeeans found themselves wishing for some rain to cool things off. Their wish was granted on Friday, with cooler temperatures and a light rain that came down for most of the day.

About 6 p.m. Friday, however, the light rain changed to a downpour. Rain pounded down on the Kankakee area for the next 12 hours. By dawn on Saturday, about 9 inches had fallen, creating a mile-square temporary lake that reached a depth of 10 feet in spots.

The flood centered on Soldier Creek, a normally placid and shallow waterway that runs diagonally across the city from northeast to southwest. The creek crosses Illinois Route 50 north of the Armstrong floor tile plant, then ...

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Jack Klasey
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