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updated: 4/26/2013 11:44 AM

Des Plaines River Flood Information

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Karen Kozenczak

For more information call 847-391-5396/April 26, 2013

Des Plaines River Flood Information

8:45 AM, Friday, April 26, 2013, Des Plaines, Illinois

According to the National Weather Service's Report of 7:45 AM, Friday, April 26, 2013, the Des Plaines River near Des Plaines is at flood stage 6.24 feet. The river crested at a record 10.92 ft. Friday, April 19, 2013 (Flood action stage is 5.0 feet).

All roads are now open for traffic.

The Des Plaines Public Works and Engineering Department has announced that garbage collection will continue on a normal schedule with the exception of yard waste collection. Yard waste collection will be suspended until further notice. Public Works will be assisting ARC Disposal with debris collection, along with the collection of sandbags in flood affected areas. Sandbags should be placed at the curb separate from other debris. Collection will continue until all bags have been recovered. Once the sandbags are removed, the streets will be swept to remove any remaining debris.

Residents should put flood-damaged items out at the curb. No hazardous waste or electronic waste will be collected. Public Works has placed dumpsters for debris at the following locations:

Fargo Avenue between River Road and Cedar Street

Welwyn Avenue between River Road and Cedar Street

Whitcomb Avenue between River Road and White Street

Van Buren Street between River Road and White Street

Willow Avenue and Graceland Avenue (2 dumpsters)

Stewart Avenue and River Road

Berry Lane off River Road (2 dumpsters)

Hawthorne Lane and Big Bend Drive (3 dumpsters)

Electronic recyclables may be brought to the Public Works Garage, 1111 Joseph J. Schwab (Campground) Road, 8 AM -- 7 PM, Wednesdays.

Members of the Cook County Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (SWAP) are assisting with debris removal. Also, crews from Kane County and Lockport will join those from Rolling Meadows assisting Des Plaines Public Works with debris removal as part of IPWMAN (Illinois Public Works Mutal Aid Network).

The City's Community Development Department reminds residents that a permit IS REQUIRED for nearly all construction work including the following:

• Electrical wiring, panels, conduit, or junction boxes

• Insulation

• Wall framing

• Windows

• Exterior doors

• Roofing

• Siding

• Fireplaces

• Boilers

• Water heaters

• Generators

• Fences

• Decks and stairs

• Concrete, asphalt, or paver brick driveways, sidewalks, patios, stoops, and stairs

• Demolitions

• Extensive interior remodeling work

• Fire sprinklers

• Grading changes, retention walls, or other landscaping involving topographical changes

• Low voltage alarms and phone wiring

• Mechanical systems (heating and air conditioning)

• New structures and any structural changes

• Plumbing (water heaters, etc.)

• Sewer repairs or clean-outs

• Sheds

• Shoring and foundation repairs

• Signs, banners, and tents

• Swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs

Anyone unsure of whether a permit is required can call the Community Development Department at 847-391-5380, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. The only type of work that does not need a permit is removal/replacement of carpet or tile, replacement of drywall (unless insulation is also being replaced), or replacement of cabinetry (unless plumbing or electrical work is involved).

Residents are encouraged to report flood damages to their insurance companies. City officials are advising residents of storm-damaged properties to be careful when choosing contractors to clean up and/or repair their homes and businesses. The following are ways that can help residents avoid contractor fraud:

• Use reliable, licensed contractors. Ask to see a license, or call the City's Community Development Department at 847-391-5380 to find out if your contractor is licensed to work in Des Plaines. All contractors are required to be licensed in order to work in the City.

• Obtain a written estimate and read the fine print. Get estimates from several reputable contractors before making a final decision. A complete contract should clearly state all the work to be performed, all associated costs, a payment schedule, and obligate the contractor to pay for all materials ordered.

• Check references. Call former customers who had similar work done to see if they were satisfied with the job. Make sure the contractor carries general liability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and is bonded. If the contractor is not insured or bonded, the homeowner can be held liable for accidents that occur on the property.

• Never sign a blank contract. If the contractor provides any guarantees, they should be written into the contract, clearly stating what is guaranteed, who is responsible for the more guarantee, and how long the guarantee is valid. Pay by check. Avoid advance payments and cash payments if possible. A reasonable down payment is 30 percent of the total cost of the project.

• Make final payments only when work is completed. If permits were required by the City, do not make final payments until all inspections have been passed. Do not sign completion papers or make the final payment until the work is completed to your satisfaction.

• Require the contractor to provide you with a Final Waiver of Lien as a receipt for your final payment. If materials are delivered to your home by a supply yard, the contractor should also provide a Final Waiver from the supplier. A reputable contractor will not threaten you or pressure you to sign if the job is not finished properly. Contact your insurance company for recommendations and to assess the level of repair needed.

• Avoid contractors who do not want to sign a contract.

• Avoid contractors who do not want to obtain a building permit.

Residents whose medical prescriptions have been exposed to flood waters should contact their pharmacies regarding refills. Those who have been evacuated from their homes and are currently residing elsewhere should not return to their homes for medications. Call your pharmacy for replacement information.

The Shelter at Prairie Lakes Community Center, 515 E. Thacker Street, is open. The Shelter, established by the Red Cross at the Wheeling Park District, 333 E. Dundee Road, is at capacity.

Oakton Community College, Des Plaines campus, is open on Friday, April 26, 2013.

Acting Mayor Walsten declared a Local State of Emergency at 4 AM, Thursday, April 18, 2013. A Proclamation of the City of Des Plaines Declaration of State of Disaster (EMA Ordinance M-46-93 Chapter 2) was signed in the afternoon of April 18, 2013. The Declaration states, "The City of Des Plaines herein described is encountering a disaster that requires prompt action with Des Plaines, Cook County, State of Illinois and Federal Resources and Mutual Aid Agreements to prevent harm or damage to the safety, health or welfare of persons or to prevent damage to property."

Governor Pat Quinn has issued an emergency declaration following the flooding and severe weather affecting areas across Illinois. The Governor visited the Big Bend Drive area at approximately 2:30 PM, Thursday, April 18, 2013.

Emergency calls should be directed to 9-1-1. Des Plaines residents are advised to turn to cable channel #17 and the City's website,, for more information as it becomes available. Flooding information and non-emergency calls may be directed to the Des Plaines Emergency Management Agency (EMA) at 847-391-5396.

Flooding information and non-emergency calls may be directed to the Des Plaines Emergency Management Agency (EMA) at 847-391-5396. The City of Des Plaines Emergency Management Agency will continue to monitor the situation and will issue additional information as needed.

The City of Des Plaines and Cook County Department of Public Health encourage the public to follow these safety tips to protect against disease and hazards that flooding can bring:

Do not allow children to play in flooded areas. Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.

Before entering an area that has been flooded, turn off the electricity. Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Current can travel through water. Do not enter a basement until all standing water is gone, as circuit boxes are frequently located in basements.

If your electricity is out, use battery powered flashlights or lanterns. Do not use candles, gas lanterns or torches because gas lines may be broken and an explosion may occur. Wear boots and rubber gloves to reduce contact with contaminated water. Remember to wear mosquito repellant with DEET around standing water. Wash hands with warm soapy water, especially before any activity where there may be hand to mouth contact (eating or preparing food).

If a puncture wound or cut occurs while working in a flooded area, a tetanus shot should be administered. Contact your physician or go to your emergency room. Waterborne illness may bring symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, muscle aches and fevers. Seek medical help.

If your electricity is off, a fully stocked freezer will keep food frozen for 24 hours if the door remains closed. Food in the refrigerator will stay cool for four to six hours, depending how warm the kitchen is. When in doubt, throw it out.

Check all cans or bottled goods that have been in floodwater. Cans of food are usually safe if undamaged. Immerse for ten minutes in a chlorine solution (1/4 cup laundry bleach to one gallon water), then rinse and dry thoroughly. Throw out any cans with dents or rust spots.

Containers with cork lined lids or caps, screw tops or pop-tops are nearly impossible to thoroughly clean. Throw them out.

Refrigerated foods such as meat, milk, or foods which contain milk or a milk-based products should be discarded if the inside temperature of the refrigerator has risen above 41 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours.

If you do not have bottled water and have access to a stove, water can be made safe by boiling it for five minutes at a rolling boil. Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, make ice or brush teeth.