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Lombard's storm recovery expected to take weeks

A resident wades through standing water near Roosevelt Roosevelt in Lombard on 
A resident wades through standing water near Roosevelt Roosevelt in Lombard on Thursday.

LOMBARD — The recovery effort after this week's storms is expected to continue for several weeks in Lombard after six inches of rain fell on the village, flooding homes and closing schools.

Lombard firefighters evacuated 12 people and four dogs from homes on Thursday with their emergency boat, said Dave Gorman, Lombard's assistant Public Works director.

Many more homes also were seriously damaged by floodwaters.

"We have a number of houses in town that will be uninhabitable for a time," Gorman said.

He said much of the damage was concentrated on the north side of the village, which is also the older part of the village near Terrace View Pond, Vista Pond and Charles Lane Pond on Finley Road. Residents are still encouraged to avoid this portion of town.

Lombard's rainwater flows into the East Branch of the DuPage River and Salt Creek, and much of Thursday's flooding was caused because the bodies of water were at capacity and could not take in any more water. Gorman said the tributaries are slowly beginning to recede and it will be after the water level drops that remaining, standing water in the village drains.

Gorman said it is important that residents stay out of the standing water. He and other public works members often see people, especially children, in the stormwater and he said it "makes us cringe." This water is dangerous and potentially contaminated by sewage.

Throughout the entire flooding event, public works crews were monitoring the village's pumping systems that remained functional and working at capacity.

"We did not have one minute of people not working on this," he said.

During the flooding, crews were setting up barricades and assisting with the hundreds of calls from residents.

In July 2010, Lombard experienced another historic flooding event. After it, the village made infrastructure improvements, which Gorman said helped this time.

Lombard also has two improvement projects scheduled to begin in the near future. One is at Terrace View Pond, where the normal water level of the pond will be drained down by one foot to make more room for stormwater.

A new pump station also will be built at Route 53 that will be larger and able to move more water than the current one.

As residents work to clean up their homes, Dumpsters will be placed around the village to collect destroyed property through April 29. These are located on Greenfield Avenue, south of Terrace View Pond; at Washington Boulevard and Park Road; 18th Street and Stewart Avenue; Edgewood Avenue, west of Vista Pond; South Broadway and South Lewis avenues; at the cul-de-sac on Grace Street, south of Wilson Avenue; and Washington Boulevard and Kelly Court.

Hazardous material cannot be placed in these Dumpsters.

Free, storm-damage refuse stickers also are available at Village Hall. Bulk items with stickers can be placed on the curb on regular garbage collection days.

Residents who have experienced flooding or major property damage are encouraged to take photos and document losses in the event that grants or low-interest loans will be made available from the state or federal governments.

To report flooding concerns, call the village at 630-620-5700. Any emergencies that are life threatening should be directed to 911.

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