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updated: 7/24/2012 5:47 PM

Engineer says Gurnee remains on top of flood protection

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  • PAUL VALADE/pvalade@dailyherald.com 2010Gurnee Grade School is targeted for demolition in spring 2013 so it's removed from a flood-prone area near the Des Plaines River.

      PAUL VALADE/pvalade@dailyherald.com 2010Gurnee Grade School is targeted for demolition in spring 2013 so it's removed from a flood-prone area near the Des Plaines River.

 
 

Gurnee continues to be aggressive in protecting property from flooding as part of its stormwater management policy, according to the village engineer's presentation to elected officials.

Engineer Scott Drabicki told the village board at a meeting Monday night that Gurnee continues to remove buildings from flood-prone areas and encourages homeowner associations to be proactive in ensuring pipes carrying stormwater remain clear, so they empty into detention basins.

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Drabicki said the village inspects the pipes in residential neighborhoods to make sure they are not clogged. He said the village has the right to make necessary repairs on private property if a homeowner association doesn't act on a stormwater problem, but such instances are rare.

Gurnee also is participating in a Federal Emergency Management Agency incentive program for stormwater management. It's called the Community Rating System, which encourages participating cities and villages to provide extra stormwater protection.

In Gurnee's case, Drabicki said, that means the continued acquisition of flood-prone property near the Des Plaines River, updated building codes and various regulatory activities.

"Right now, residents in the village of Gurnee that have flood insurance are getting a 10 percent discount because the village of Gurnee, as a whole, does more than the bare minimum to protect homes and businesses from flooding," Drabicki said.

FEMA has assigned a Class 8 ranking to Gurnee, Drabicki said. He said residents with flood insurance may see further premium savings if Gurnee slides to a Class 6 rating from FEMA, with Class 1 being the lowest on a nine-point scale.

Drabicki noted Gurnee Grade School near the Des Plaines River is scheduled for demolition next spring. The Gurnee Park District will take over the five acres after the school is demolished.

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