We are writing regarding Lock 19 along the Hennepin Canal in Wyanet, IL. Lock 19 no longer has water going over the spillway (except after heavy rains). There is a breech underneath and all the flow is going through that breech. There are issues at some of the other locks to the east of lock 19, water spouting right out of a dam, leaks in the locks that are affecting water levels, areas of the eastern branch where water levels are less than 2 feet.
The Wyanet Festival is coming up soon, representatives from this district come to walk in the parade on Saturday July 13th. While in the area, we encourage them to come out here to lock 19, look at the scum that has accumulated near the spillway. Soon, as the summer sun rots the debris that is accumulating, the stench will become unbearable. (You can already smell rotting debris and dead fish when driving nearby or when walking towards the lock.) The water has also stop flowing into the diversion tunnel next to the lock, I'm sure this will become a wonderful haven and breeding ground for mosquitoes, stagnant water in a dark cool environment 20 feet wide by a couple hundred feet long. I know the state is deeply in debt, but one of the area's historic treasures is crumbling. We believe it would be time well spent if any governmental officials coming to Wyanet to walk in the parade would also take some time to visit the canal from lock 21 east to lock 14. This area of the canal is in dire need of help.
If you have any questions or would like more information, including more photographs or a guided tour of the area between these locks, please contact Tom Yourek at 815-878-6822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Edited to Add: Letters have been sent to our House Representative and also to the Heritage Department in the Illinois DNR. We have also written to the Friends of the Hennepin Canal to make them aware of the problem.