Suburban flooding crested, slowly receding

April 20, 2013 8:21:50 PM PDT
Two days after the rain has stopped, floodwaters in Des Plaines and Forest View are still high, and entire subdivisions are underwater.

One of the hardest hit areas is west suburban Forest View. Homes, businesses and even the fire department were overcome by water. Many people were trapped in their homes and had to be rescued by boat Friday morning.

The suburb remained waterlogged on Friday, with entire blocks still submerged in water.

About a quarter of a mile from the Des Plaines River on Fargo Avenue there were front yards, back yards and basements inundated with water, the sound of water pumps filling the air.

Saturday afternoon, Chopper 7 caught a large part of the northwest suburb still under water, both commercial areas and entire residential blocks.

The Des Plaines River crested at just under 11 feet Friday night, nearly six feet above flood stage.

The water is slowly going down in some areas as of Saturday evening. The water has receded from the steps of some houses to the mid front yard.

But for many, their patience had just about run out.

"Can't take a shower, you can't wash your hair, can't wash dishes, you're afraid to flush the toilet for the fear your pump is going to go, or the electricity's going to go," said Margaret Zelk.

More than 48 hours after the flooding began, there were still several stretches of roadways that were closed, including parts of major thoroughfares like Golf Road, River Road, Oakton Street.

And while the flood waters are also quickly heading in the right direction in Forest View, gas-powered pumps are working overtime.

"We're waiting for the water to go down so we can see if we can get the furnace started, that's the main thing," said resident John Hysny.

Hyzny's basement had 36 inches of water and he has 12 more to pump out. As his personal items dry in the backyard, his neighbors are helping one another clean up after heavy rain caused the Des Plaines River to breach the levee Thursday.

"Our basement got flooded and by the time it all came up to the ceiling we were able to get all of the furniture up to the second floor and we just finished the kitchen, remodeled everything," he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been offering residents of Forest View assistance, using boats to help them get to and from their homes.

"It's been rather emotional to be honest," said Ensign Michael Lewis. "You have been working with these folks who have basically lost quite a bit of their personal possessions but we're doing everything that we can to help them out."

Forest View's village president says no one has seen anything like this around here before.

"We're kind of hoping by (Sunday), maybe Monday at the latest people will be able to get back into their homes without taking a boat to get there," Richard Grenvich said.

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