Residents in suburbs watch rising Des Plaines River

July 25, 2011 4:21:22 AM PDT
More rain Sunday could cause a new round of problems for suburban residents still trying to dry out after the record rainfall Saturday.

Riverside residents, for example, were nervously watching the rising Des Plaines River.

McCormick Woods, across from Brookfield Zoo in Riverside, was the closest ABC7 could get to the river, because it has already overflowed its banks. High-standing water was running through the woods, and a nearby pavilion was under water.

There no reports early Sunday of any homes in that area taking in water, but residents were still watching closely as the river was set to crest there later Sunday at 9 feet.

In suburban Lyons, the river was rushing by the Hoffman Tower and was clearly above flood stage. Debris was being pulled into the river. There was also a lot of standing water in grassy areas nearby but no reports, so far, of flooded homes in Lyons either, probably due to the higher ground where most houses are located.

Other suburban residents were not so fortunate. Many of the 40 homes contained in a small, unincorporated neighborhood called Riverside Lawn were already under water Sunday morning.

People in northwest suburbs like Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Palatine and Elk Grove Village were continuing to clean up and dry out Sunday. Dozens of homes in those areas flooded Saturday, leaving residents stunned. Some report their basements took in as much as 10 feet of water, destroying possessions and wreaking havoc on people's lives.

Many said they felt helpless and afraid as they saw the rising waters outside pouring inside.

"This is very high for us. I've only ever seen the water come up to my house. This is a little extreme. All you can do is help the neighbors and make sure everyone gets their vehicles out and try and clean up when it goes away. That is what we do," said Des Plaines flood victim Nicole Linstad.

Several northwest suburban residents blame the flooding on poor infrastructure, and many say they have reached their breaking point, having to deal with flood problems every time a big storm comes through.

In Des Plaines, the flooding led the local government to declare a state of emergency. Fortunately for those residents, the river in Des Plaines has already crested.

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