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updated: 4/18/2013 4:52 PM

Lombard making trash bins available

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The waterways that capture rain draining out of Lombard are both at peak flood stage, meaning the village's sewer system will continue to operate at full capacity as water levels slowly drop, authorities said Thursday afternoon.

Flood-level waters in the East Branch of the DuPage River and Salt Creek will recede slowly over the next few days, according to DuPage County. Then Lombard, which had recorded more than 6 inches of rain by Thursday afternoon and declared itself a state of emergency, can begin to dry out.

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The village delivered Dumpsters to six locations -- one in each voting district -- on Thursday afternoon, getting them in place for residents to discard storm-damaged items.

Dumpsters are available on Greenfield Avenue by the south side of Terrace View Pond; at Washington Boulevard and Park Road behind the cemetery; at 18th Street and Stewart Avenue; on Edgewood Avenue west of Vista Pond; at South Broadway and Lewis Avenue and on the Cul-de-sac on Grace Street south of Wilson next to Southland Park.

Residents, some of whom were soaked with 4 to 6 feet of water in their houses, also can throw away bulk items at the curb by picking up a free storm damage refuse sticker at village hall, 255 E. Wilson Ave.

As residents woke up as early as 3 a.m. to basement flooding and impassable streets, police and fire crews began responding to emergency calls.

The fire department responded to about 130 calls between midnight Wednesday and 4 p.m. Thursday, Lt. Brian Stuart said. Two of those calls were for minor fires in the 1000 block of East Division Street and the 800 block of Foxworth Boulevard, which possibly were related to wiring that got saturated in the rain. Stuart said firefighters rescued 12 people by boat from stranded vehicles or homes and responded to a variety of other flood and accident calls.

By policy, the village does not pump private properties, but public works crews were out throughout the day Thursday working to keep stormwater flowing through sewer pipes and barricade as many as 25 flooded streets.

Residents also helped each other as roads became impassible. Jennifer Drayton and her husband, Mike, sheltered a woman whose car stalled outside their home on Fairfield Avenue about 3:30 a.m. until a tow truck came about 8:30. The stranded motorist was only blocks away from her job at Ultra Foods on Roosevelt Road, but her car got stuck in several feet of water, Drayton said.

"She definitely was grateful," said Drayton, whose home did not flood, possibly because she and her husband installed a new sump pump with a backup system and regraded the yard when they moved in five years ago. "It was the least we could do."

Acting Village President Bill Ware canceled Thursday night's village board meeting, saying he wanted village staff members to focus all their efforts on responding to the flood and ensuring resident safety. Lombard Elementary District 44 also canceled classes Thursday as Hammerschmidt Elementary took on water in its lowest level and the parking lot and back yard flooded at Butterfield Elementary.

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