Conditions improving, but flood damage still a problem
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Life continues to inch toward "normal" in DuPage County and Fox Valley-area neighborhoods affected by last week's downpours and floods, but for many there's still a long way to go.
Debra Schulz of Lisle is one of the people who remained unable to live in their homes Sunday because of flood-related damage. She stopped by the Towers at Four Lakes residential complex, where she's rented an apartment for the past three years, and took pictures of the cleanup progress.
Her building, located on Forest View Road south of Maple Avenue and west of Route 53, was evacuated Thursday after floodwater rushed into the underground parking structure and filled the lobby.
"We left with nothing but the clothes on our backs," said Schulz, who lives with her 15-year-old daughter and their dog.
Schulz has been living with her parents in Downers Grove. She said she was able to return to her apartment after the flood to retrieve clothes and other supplies.
"I realize I'm luckier than many because I do have my parents relatively close by, but I just want to be back home," Schulz said. "The staff inside the building were so wonderful when I went back to gather some clothes. It's a great place to live."
Also in Lisle, a shelter for those displaced by the flood was relocated on Sunday from Benedictine University to Trinity Lutheran Church, 1101 Kimberly Way. The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago is running the shelter, one of eight that were set up in Cook, DeKalb, DuPage and Lake counties after last week's storms.
As of Sunday afternoon, 19 people were using the Lisle shelter, according to the Red Cross. In addition to a place to live and sleep, the Red Cross is providing meals and special items like infant formula and diapers at the shelter.
"We plan to keep it going as long as there's a need for it," Red Cross spokesman Adam Runkle said Sunday.
Runkle said the Red Cross plans to distribute cleaning kits this week for residents who have returned home. Details and tips about cleaning up after a flood can be found on the agency's website.
Other flood-related news in DuPage County and the Fox Valley:
In Wheaton, residents of the Briarcliffe subdivision were told to evacuate their homes Sunday after a leak was discovered in a retention pond north of Brentwood Lane. City work crews were able to stabilize the pond early in the day, though, and residents were allowed to return.
The Glen Ellyn Public Library remained closed Sunday because of flooding damage. It is not expected to reopen until Monday, April 29.
Special Olympics Illinois postponed the outdoor events that are part of its annual Spring Games because of flooding at North Central College in Naperville. Those events are now scheduled for Sunday, April 28, at Hinsdale South High School, 7401 Clarendon Hills Road, Darien. (The indoor weightlifting events took place Sunday as scheduled at North Central College.)
The Morton Arboretum in Lisle reopened Sunday afternoon, despite significant damage from flooding. It had been closed since Thursday. The events scheduled for Sunday, including the Arbor Day 10K event, were canceled. Officials said the race will not be rescheduled, but participants will be reimbursed. The arboretum is scheduled to resume its regular business hours on Monday, though the Research Center at one point had 2.5 feet of water, which is still being pumped out.
Telephone and computer systems are not yet completely restored, including the main Arboretum phone line, which is expected to remain down for several days.
A call center will be reopened Monday for residents of unincorporated areas of DuPage County who wish to report flood damage. The number to call during regular business hours is (630) 407-6700, and again, this is for resident of unincorporated areas only. Residents of municipalities should contact their local governments.
In Algonquin, roads along the Fox River remained closed Sunday, as did Cornish Park. Drivers were asked to stay away from downtown Algonquin entirely this weekend because of road closures and flooding. Streets still closed as of Sunday morning included parts of Fox River Drive, Jayne Street, Center Street, Willow Street and Filip Street.
Nunda Township officials asked volunteers to help build sandbags Sunday at the township offices in Crystal Lake. The sandbagging efforts began at 8 a.m. Sunday and continued throughout the day.
Rawson Bridge was still closed in unincorporated McHenry County near Cary because of flooding. The bridge passes over the Fox River. But in Geneva, where a couple of streets were closed Friday, everything was pretty much back to normal for drivers.
Elgin police Sgt. Dennis Hood said the vast majority of road obstructions were cleared up by Saturday and that by Sunday afternoon there are no reports of any roads remaining closed.
Elgin police will spend this week attempting to roughly assess the amount of financial damage in the city and will report an estimate to the county and the state for disaster reporting purposes, Hood said.
• Daily Herald staff writers Tara Garcia Mathewson and Melissa Silverberg contributed to this report.
Floods: Drivers were asked to stay out of downtown Algonquin all weekend
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