Drivers stranded by flood water in north suburbs, clean-up continues

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Residents in flood-prone areas found themselves underwater yet again after the latest bout of severe storms. (WLS)

Residents in flood-prone areas found themselves underwater yet again after the latest bout of severe storms.

Tuesday was another day of clean-up for residents in the north and northwest suburbs. Torrential rains left some intersections underwater, forcing major detours.

High flood water turned streets into rivers in Des Plaines and made U.S. 41 in the Knollwood and Lake Bluff area nearly impossible to navigate.

Drivers stranded by flooding near U.S. 41 and Route 176 had to wait it out in their cars overnight. Some people who tried to leave their vehicles had to be rescued.

Martin Jimenez is one of many who got caught on U.S. 41. He managed to get his car to a gas station where he has been stuck since Monday night.

"It started pouring cats and dogs you couldn't even see where you were going," Jimenez said. "A lot of cars, they got stuck."

Ruben Sereno has an insulation business along the flooded road called Ruben Spray Insulation. He couldn't physically get to his office or his trucks on Tuesday, and anticipates a lot of damage.

Underpasses were still flooded Tuesday afternoon. Almost 10 feet of water has pooled there. Side streets in the area were also flooded. There was even water up to some homes.

After driving through the high water, Arturo Martinez's minivan broke down on Monday.

"I called the mechanic," Martinez said as he waited for help to arrive. "He's coming... He can fix it."

In a number of subdivisions around Des Plaines, frustrated residents said flooding is a common sight following heavy rainfall.

Campground Road between Miner Street and Algonquin Road has been closed since Monday. But the real pain in the northwest suburb is for folks who deal with flooding at home.

In one neighborhood near the intersection of Rand Road and Des Plaines River Road, homeowners have permanently installed PVC pipes running from their basements to the outside where hoses spew water pumped from indoors.

Des Plaines resident Laurie Barretto has given up on storing anything in her basement. She even had tables welded to the ground to elevate her furnace and hot water heater. Up to 18 inches of water can collect downstairs and her house floods far more often than she'd like.

"When I moved here it wasn't a flood plain. That was seventeen years ago," Baretto said. "Then it became a 100-year flood plain and supposedly a 25-year plain. I'd really call it an 18-month flood plain."

When asked why she and her neighbors don't move, Barretto said it's because they can't. Houses in this area won't sell.

While some suburbs dealt with flooding from the storm, firefighters responded to a lightning strike in Addison. One family was able to get out safely after smoke from a lightning strike filled their home.

Related Topics:
weatherfloodingflash floodingrainstormcommutingLake BluffDes PlainesKnollwood
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