LA GRANGE HIGHLANDS – Robert and Annette Persa can’t mow a portion of their backyard. It’s underwater, and it has been for almost two years.
The couple, who live at 1720 54th Place, have had 1 to 2 inches of standing water in their backyard since fall 2011. They’ve had to fence off the back third of the yard so that their dogs don’t run through the mud. The water even loosened the roots of a 75-foot Evergreen tree that uprooted in a strong wind and toppled onto their pool.
The worst part? They can’t get anyone to help.
Last spring, they received visits from a Cook County building and zoning property inspector, a Lyons Township highway commissioner, the president of the La Grange Highlands Civic Association and an engineer from the state. The Cook County official helped clear out drainage in several ditches, but it didn’t solve the problem.
This spring, they made a few more calls, including to the Cook County Department of Public Health, and were twice told they will have to tackle the problem themselves.
“We’re going to do the city’s work,” Robert Persa said. “What we pay taxes for we’re going to have to do.”
Persa said he’s looking into buying a trench to clear out clogged drainage ditches. He’s lived in the house since 1971 and said he’s never had flooding. He wonders if it has something to do with a large house built behind his a year before the problems started.
The couple got help from the Desplaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District, who sent an employee to spray their yard.
“He was very helpful,” Robert Persa said.