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Wheaton continues to recover from flooding; residents, businesses asked to report damages by Wednesday

Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 5:07 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Sarah Minor — sminor@shawmedia.com)
Floodwaters on Main Street encroach on the Wheaton Fire Station 3.

WHEATON – After the city of Wheaton was declared to be in a state of emergency due to flooding April 18 and several streets in the city closed, flooding receded over the weekend as the city's sewage and natural drainage systems caught up with water levels, city officials said.

Nearly 20 streets remained closed Friday, according to a city news release. But roadways were again open on Sunday, Wheaton Deputy Fire Chief Bill Schultz said.

Classes at all schools in Community Unit School District 200, as well as St. Michael Parish School and St. Francis High School in Wheaton, resumed Friday after closing the previous day due to the severe weather.

On April 18, Wheaton police Lt. Bob Miller said several cars were stuck due to flooding. Wheaton firefighters had removed drivers from their vehicles, but vehicles had to remain where they were until water levels decreased and they could be towed.

City workers opened manhole covers and cleared drainage gates, but it would take time for the water to go down, Miller said. Some of the most severe flooding was along Main Street from Roosevelt Road to Willow Avenue and Cole Avenue to Park Circle Drive, he said.

Although floodwaters receded and streets reopened, however, damage caused by the flood remains for Wheaton residents, Schultz said.

"Throughout the entire city, people had water damage," he said. And that takes time to fix, he added.

City officials used the reverse 911 system to warn residents of the Briarcliffe subdivision to evacuate Saturday night after a leak was discovered in the Lake 4 retention pond located to the north of the area.

Emergency personnel stabilized the leak with sandbags late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The pond lowered to normal water levels Sunday, and residents were invited to return to their homes.

The pond continued to be stable Monday as the city's Public Works and Engineering departments monitored the situation, Wheaton Deputy Fire Chief Bill Schultz said. At that time, city officials did not expect there to be any additional issues with the pond unless heavy rainfall occurred again, although Schultz said they would be looking at possible long-term ways to address the problem.

The city of Wheaton asks residents and businesses affected by the flooding to document the extent of the damage through an Initial Damage Assessment Form available at the city's website. Forms need to be turned in by Wednesday to the city of Wheaton either in person at the Finance Department counter on the first floor of City Hall, 303 W. Wesley St., or via fax to 630-260-2017 or email to sbarrett-hagen@wheaton.il.us.

Wheaton will submit this information to state emergency management officials to seek disaster damage assistance from the federal government.

Garbage hauler Advanced Disposal is offering a special collection for flood-damaged materials from Wheaton residents served by the city curbside service this week, according to a city news release.

Beginning Monday, residents were able to place flood-damaged materials outside their homes for a special collection on their normal collection day. Flood-damaged items should be separated from regular garbage, which still requires the appropriate garbage sticker. If flood-damaged materials are not placed at the curb during the special collection period, they will require standard garbage stickers as well.

Any missed flood-damaged items from the Monday collection will be picked up on Saturday.

Flood-damaged carpeting and carpet padding should be cut into 4-foot lengths with a rolled diameter no wider than 18 inches.

Residents also had the opportunity to recycle carpeting and padding damaged in the flood, regardless of its condition, at Wheaton's 25th Recycling Extravaganza held Saturday.

Any residents who had utilities turned off in response to the storms should call Nicor Gas to check appliances and re-establish natural gas service or a qualified electrician to evaluate their electrical system before restoring power.

Following the storms and subsequent flooding, Wheaton officials warned residents of potential contractor fraud in a news release on the city's website.

According to the release, guidelines residents should follow when hiring a contractor to address flood damage include verifying the identities of contractors and city officials, receiving multiple estimates for proposed jobs, avoiding building contractors that encourage residents to pay large amounts for temporary repairs, and waiting to pay contractors in full until the work is completed. For more details, visit the city's website.

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