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Flood cleanup in Des Plaines as residents assess damage

April 25, 2013 3:05:43 PM PDT
One week after a strong storm pushed the Des Plaines River over its banks, some residents are finally getting into their homes in Des Plaines.

STORY: Flood victims learning lessons from past

STORY: Des Plaines roads still impassable

STORY Des Plaines homes evacuated

The torrential rain fell for several days last week, prompting evacuations as the standing water continued to rise inside homes and make some streets impassable. On Thursday, city crews hauled away waterlogged possessions as homeowners assessed the damage.

Contractors are warning people who had flood damage to be careful about where they go for help cleaning up.

"I would recommend people look up the company on the Better Business Bureau, internet," Larry Taornina, Restore Restoration contractor, said.

The Des Plaines River crested on Friday, April 19 at 10.92 feet, which is almost six feet above flood stage. The water then began receding, but it's been slow, as has cleanup for many of the displaced residents, especially along Big Bend Drive, Hawthorne Lane and Berry Lane.

"People in Des Plaines are pretty resilient," Mark Walsten, acting mayor of Des Plaines. "People have come together to help each other."

"I was in New York last week, and came home, and this is what happened. I wasn't able to come in until yesterday night. This is pretty bad," Richard Kang said.

The high-standing flood waters also have some officials concerned about a possible mosquito outbreak. West Nile virus season begins in May.

"We will try to get spraying because it'll be more of a problem because the larvae is spread out more now," Walsten said.

Oakton Community College's Des Plaines campus, which has been closed since last Thursday due to severe flooding, is expected to reopen Friday.

"So to have a soft slow open, because we figure it'd be better than having the students out for a full week because they've lost a significant amount of time at the end of the semester," Bob Nowak, Oakton Community College, said.


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