Weary suburban residents recover from floods

July 25, 2011 4:13:59 PM PDT
Chicago-area residents are trying to dry out from the wet and stormy weekend.

On Saturday morning, a record was set for the largest amount of rainfall on one day. All the rain resulted in flooded streets and basements.

Evidence of a waterlogged weekend lined northwest suburban streets Monday with trashed items heaped onto curbs.

In Des Plaines, some residents say the flooding claimed appliances, even cars.

The Dabbours say both of their family's cars won't start.

"We lost our living room rugs, our furniture in the living room, it's gotten water on it. Our leather sofa, TVs. Basically you name it, all our cars are gone," said Marlene Dabbour.

Des Plaines residents say they noticed a sudden retreat of the water, but the sewer back up had already caused damage.

"All of a sudden...it was like somebody flipped a switch and all the sewers went down," said Alexandria Ostrowski.

"They say it's not a shutoff. How come it was filled and then it just went away?" said flood victim Joan Bourke

Mayor Martin Moylan of Des Plaines says the system was overwhelmed but was able to catch up after some time.

"I wish I did have a magic valve, I would have switched it on right away. But in truth what happens is there is so much rain it just takes so much time to drain. And when it does drain, you know, all our reservoirs are filled, all the pipes are filled because there is so much rain that falls in a short period of time and it takes time to release and go back out to the systems," said Moylan.

In neighboring Mt. Prospect, the library reopened Monday. It was closed when water flooded the underground parking area. Donated books that were part of the library's fundraising were lost.

"Our elevators were out of commission because the pits were flooded and they were not operable. Our fire alarm system was going off because several devices had shorted out in the water. Our security system was shorting out and giving us problems as well," said Mayor Tom Garvin of Mt. Prospect.

Library officials are asking those who want to make donations to hold off until they are finished cleaning up.

It could take several days to fix a large sinkhole in at Hicks and Dundee roads Palatine. The 15 by 20 foot sinkhole opened up Saturday in the heavy rains. Southbound Hicks Road is shut down. The northbound lanes remain open.

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