Some stressed and tired Fox Lake residents wearing knee-high rubber boots and old clothes trudged to Lakefront Park early Friday to pick up something they'll need to help put the flood of 2013 behind them -- a cleaning kit.
"I have six inches of water in my basement and my new carpet is waterlogged," resident Faith Lever said while swapping stories with other residents. "But, what can you do? We'll clean it up and put it behind us."
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The Chain O' Lakes has receded only about 4 inches since the water crested at 3 feet over flood stage Tuesday.
But, with every inch the water recedes, more washed out homeowners come out from behind sandbag bunkers and start the inevitable next step.
Cleaning up the flood of 2013 will take a while, said Annette Wolf, the emergency management director for Fox Lake, but it will get done.
"We'll do whatever we can to help the homeowners," Wolf said. "We are working out the cleanup details right now and hope to have more information in the coming days."
The village had 100 cleanup kits on hand when the doors opened Friday at Lakefront Park on Nippersink Drive, she said, and she has access to another 500 kits if needed.
The kits include a broom, mop, gloves, and disinfectants to try and keep mold from growing inside homes. Flood cleanup instruction pamphlets are sent out with homeowners to ensure it's done correctly, Wolf said.
People are urged to take pictures of the cleanup to ensure federal and state emergency management officials are aware of the damage, she said.
Officials Federal Emergency Management Agency and Illinois Emergency Management Agency will tour flood zones starting Monday in Fox Lake, Gurnee, Lincolnshire and Antioch.
"It's important right now to make sure all the damages are documented and so we can hand them over to FEMA and IEMA," Wolf said. "We need a good accounting of the damages."
In Lincolnshire, public works crews and street sweepers were out tidying Lincolnshire Drive, near the Des Plaines River's east bank.
Patty Griffin said there was a dramatic difference from Thursday as she walked toward Lincolnshire Drive and Londonderry Lane.
She said canoes had been able to float at the intersection Thursday, but it was coated with muck Friday morning.
"Wow, this was all flooded," Griffin said.
Valerie Brown said her Lincolnshire Drive house was among those that didn't sustain flood damage despite its proximity to the river.
While floodwater spilled into her yard at one point, it didn't seep into the home.
"My house has always held fine," said Brown, who credited the village's installation of storm sewers in the neighborhood for helping mitigate the floodwater.
Brown also credited her uncle, who built her 40-year-old home and others in the neighborhood, for knowing enough to take measures to try to keep it dry. In part, she said, her uncle researched for floodplains and originally had railroad ties installed for protection.
Brown said after the ties started deteriorating, she had a cement retaining wall constructed and a berm built up on the property.
Even though her Lincolnshire Drive home did not take on water, an expected purchaser of the home canceled a pending contract Monday because of the flood.
The river in Lincolnshire is expected to dip below flood stage for the first time in more than a week Saturday. At its height, the river crested at nearly 4 feet over flood stage, authorities said.
The Chain is expected to remain over flood stage at least until the middle or end of next week, authorities said. It is receding at 2 to 3 inches per day.
It's still unknown how widespread flood damages are in Fox Lake, Wolf said, but estimates are at least 600 area homes were flooded, and about 60 homes were evacuated.
"We won't know for sure until all the lists are compiled and FEMA tours the area," she said.
Wolf said flood kits are available 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. through Sunday. For information, visit foxlake.org.