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Article updated: 4/18/2013 6:24 PM

Woman, dog rescued from flooding near E. Dundee

By Lenore T. Adkins

Barrie Komorski was prepared to wait out the flooding in her home near East Dundee Thursday, but her little dog, Roxi, forced her to rethink her decision.

For 17 years, Komorski, 60, has lived in the Richardson subdivision in unincorporated Kane County, an area that backs up to the Fox River and is notorious for its floods.

Komorski is used to this. After all, the floods pushed her out of her home twice before -- once in 2007 and again in 2010 -- so she was determined to stay put this time.

"Right now I'm unemployed, so I didn't have to go anywhere (and) I had plenty of food," said Komorski, an accountant, who has been out of work since December. "If it was just me, I would have been able to do it."

But after Nicor shut her gas off as a precautionary measure, a move that meant she wouldn't have any heat, she knew it was time to go, because that wouldn't work for Roxi, her year-old chorkie. And with water surrounding her house, there was nowhere to walk Roxi.

East Dundee Fire Protection District Chief Steve Schmittendorf dispatched four off-duty part-time firefighters to check on people like Komorski who did not evacuate the subdivision on their own.

"We just want to do the right thing," Schmittendorf said. "It's getting pretty bad down there now."

Komorski, now staying with family in Fox River Grove, escaped with her dog, a couple of boxes of clothes, dog food, her medicine and her cellphone.

Firefighters got the pair out of the subdivision using inflatable boats.

"We're fine," Komorski said. "That was Roxi's first boat ride."

Many residents in the subdivision had already evacuated themselves earlier in the day, Schmittendorf said.

"Those folks have been there a long time and are pretty self sufficient because they know what to expect and what to do," Schmittendorf said, adding that the last evacuation was in 2010. "That doesn't make it any easier for anybody, but they know what to expect."

There are about 20 homes in the subdivision, which was originally created as a series of summer cottages along the river, according to Don Bryant, director of the Kane County Office of Emergency Management.

In West Dundee, the river was almost two feet beyond its flooding threshold of 9.5 feet at midday. Officials say the river could be up over 14 feet by Saturday.

The flooding resulted in the closure of Lincoln Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets, and First Street north of Route 72.

Authorities said the village has put its main focus on protecting existing infrastructure from the water damage, particularly the lift stations at Third Street and Liberty Street.

Sandbags, which the office of emergency management was helping to deliver to West Dundee, are destined for the affected residential streets, which include Edwards Avenue, Fox Avenue, North First Street and Lincoln Avenue.

Carpentersville reported no major issues, but officials there were keeping their eye on streets prone to flooding.

"We're in pretty good shape. We're watching the river along Lincoln Avenue and along Washington Street very closely," Carpentersville Deputy Fire Chief John Skillman said.

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