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Downers Grove

Report: More than 1,000 Downers Grove properties flooded in storm

DOWNERS GROVE – More than 1,000 properties in Downers Grove flooded during the heavy storm that sent the village and county into a state of emergency April 18, according to a storm summary report from the village.

Prepared by Village Manager David Fieldman, the report provides a detailed overview of the storm's effect on infrastructure and residents and the villages response efforts. It is posted on the village website.

The heaviest rains began around 3:30 a.m. April 18, with precipitation falling at 1 to 1.5 inches per hour, overwhelming the village's storm sewer system.

"Storm water detention facilities throughout the system overflowed at approximately 4 a.m.," the report states. "This type of overflow is expected because the storm water management system is not designed for the type of extreme rain event that occurred."

The heavy rains also infiltrated the sanitary sewer system, causing water to come up through toilets and sump-pump drains.

Flooding was not limited to homes, according to the report. The basement of Good Samaritan Hospital's surgical unit flooded, causing a fire and loss of power. The power outage also affected Peace Memorial, located behind Good Samaritan. Both operated on generators.

Flooding also found the east parking lot of Village Hall, near the village's Fleet Maintenance Facility. Some village vehicles and equipment might have suffered damage, according to the report.

Between 4 a.m. and 11 a.m. that day, the fire department fielded 57 calls from residents, rescuing families trapped in flooded homes, and responded to several fire alarms and calls for water in basements. The department rescued one family by boat.

Staff also received 292 calls to 911, and more than 923 non-emergency calls were fielded by dispatch.

The village response to the storm is still continuing, according to the report. Public works crews are removing debris from the storm water system, and are conducting a damage assessment of the facilities, along with following up on inquires from residents.

The special garbage pick-up of storm-related household debris from April 22-26 will not be cheap, according to the report. Republic Services will charge the village on a time and materials basis, and costs are estimated at about $150,000.

Other costs include additional street sweeping to the tune of $2,050, and about $1,000 in miscellaneous supplies, including barricades, boots, waders, hand sanitizers and other items.

The village is applying for disaster relief finding along with DuPage County. A survey, completed by more than 650 residents, will be forwarded to federal officials to asses damage. After a review of the survey, FEMA will determine if funding will be made available to municipalities and individuals.

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