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South Loop building evacuated after flood

July 26, 2010 3:20:35 PM PDT
Residents of a flooded out condo building in Chicago's South Loop will have to wait a little longer to return home for good. Businesses in the building face the same problem.

Saturday's storms flooded out the garage of the River City condo building in the 800-block of South Wells.

"We have no clue where we are going and when it is going to be okay for us to come back in," said Karthik Mohan, resident.

Mohan is one of the displaced residents of River City condos who were allowed only ten minutes to return to their homes and gather bags of their belongings.

The building is still off limits to those who live or work there, after it was evacuated Saturday because of flooding in the underground parking garage. Twelve feet of water covered about 100 cars that were parked inside causing fumes, which residents throughout the building could smell. It prompted a hazardous materials response.

"The air was really heavy with the smell of diesel fuel and whatever else was in it. Turns out it was chlorine," said Henio Agosto, resident.

Flood damage was limited to the cars in the garage which could be seen covered in sludge as they were towed away. One of those cars belongs to Oliver Gibson, who first thought the crews responding to the flood were part of the Transformers 3 movie shoot.

"Kind of puts that Katrina situation in perspective. I mean, I lost a car. I can't imagine what those folks lost. My mother is always trying to get me to look on the bright side," said Oliver Gibson.

Residents say they were told by condo management that it will take up to three weeks before they can return.

In the meantime, electricity and running water are still shut off to the building prompting the owners of a day care there to close for the day while they find a temporary location.

"Trying to give them as much information in as little time that we had so that they can prepare for the week," said Anita Andrews-Hutchinson, It Takes a Village Day Care.

Condo management left a recorded message for residents advising them to contact their home or renters insurance carriers or their car insurance companies. ABC7 tried contacting management for a comment but did not have success.


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