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APTOPIX Winter Weather Flooding

The Rock River crested its banks and floods Shore Drive, seen here on Saturday, March 16, from the Bauer Parkway bridge in Machesney Park, Illinois. 

ROSCOE — Authorities say Rock River flooding has surrounded one neighborhood in the northern Illinois village of Roscoe, leaving residents to escape in boats.

Neighbors say children have had to walk through high floodwaters or kayak to catch school buses. They say many people are staying at hotels or with family. Residents say the water is waist-deep on an average-sized adult.

Meanwhile about 40 miles (64 kilometers) away in Freeport, authorities say rescue workers have helped evacuate more than 170 people from their homes since Saturday due to flooding along the Pecatonica River. It's the river's highest level since 1933.

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Freeport City Manager Lowell Crow says about 20 families choosing to stay in the flooded area.

National Weather Service meteorologists say the flooding is due to melting snow and recent heavy rains.

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