Cicero, Berwyn get major flooding after record rainfall Sunday

ByStephanie Wade WLS logo
Monday, July 3, 2023
Berwyn, Cicero deal with major flooding from record rain
Nearly nine inches of rain fell in Berwyn and Cicero Sunday, leaving thousands of people dealing with the aftermath of major flooding in homes and roadways alike.

CICERO, Ill. (WLS) -- The West Suburbs, particularly Cicero and Berwyn, experienced major flooding Sunday after record rainfall of nearly nine inches came down in the span of less than a day.

Crews were out all day and night trying to clear sewers and expedite draining, but Cicero officials said the heavy rainfall just wasn't manageable.

Basements flooded by several feet and cars were stranded under viaducts after the torrential downpours.

RELATED: Chicago cleans up after torrential rain leads to flash floods

"It just kept coming and coming and coming and next thing you know, it's all the way up to the grass, the sidewalk, all the way up to the porch," said Cicero resident Mark Simpson, whose basement flooded. "Probably had three feet, maybe 40 inches of water down there. I was down there in my fishing waders, it was up to my hips."

All their furniture and appliances stored downstairs are a total loss.

"It was all jumbled up because everything was floating around. It was just a mess," he said.

Knowing they couldn't leave their home, they improvised.

"So I said hey you know what, there's nothing we can do, so why don't we just grab a line and fish from the porch?" said Simpson. "All the neighbors got a kick out of it seeing my mom threw around the lure in the water."

They're not the only ones now dealing with water damage. Near 62nd and Kenneth, standing water remains on the street outside where Jeffrey Munoz's basement flooded. Brand new doors they had just installed literally the night before are now completely soaked and have to be replaced.

"It was frustrating to see because we had just finished remodeling the basement," Munoz said. "We need Chicago to fix the sewer system especially around the area. It's been happening a lot."

Cicero spokesperson Ray Hanania said Chicago's Metropolitan Water Reclamation District did not act quickly enough to help certain communities, saying the water "would have drained faster had the MWRD treated the suburban communities with the same concern that they treat the city of Chicago."

"The real problem, however, is the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, MWRD, which only opened its drainage lines very late, again helping Chicago neighborhoods to drain first before opening the locks for suburban communities like Cicero," Hanania said. "Over the years, we have demanded that the MWRD change its practices and treat the suburbs equally regarding rainwater drainage. They have refused. We are asking our state legislators, the county board, and congressional representatives to do something about this recurring problem that has harmed Cicero and our neighboring communities. "With a $2 billion-plus budget, they don't do an excellent job for the suburbs."

Town officials are now calling on state and local leaders to do something about the recurring problem.

Rainfall totals Sunday:

Berwyn - 8.96 inches

Cicero - 8.60 inches

Garfield Park - 8/12 inches

Lincoln Park - 7.89 inches

Evanston - 7.09 inches

McKinley Park 6.62 inches

O'Hare: 3.35 inches

Midway 4.68 inches

Wheeling- 1.96 inches

Waukegan -.67 inches

Valparaiso - .30 inches

Aurora - 1.54 inches