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updated: 6/26/2013 6:25 PM

Lake Zurich whipped by flooding, mayor declares local emergency

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  • Video: Lake Zurich flooding

  • A car is submerged under water along Bristol Trail Road in Lake Zurich as heavy rains hit the area Wednesday morning.

       A car is submerged under water along Bristol Trail Road in Lake Zurich as heavy rains hit the area Wednesday morning.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • A vehicle is half under water along Bristol Trail Drive in Lake Zurich following heavy early-morning rains Wednesday.

       A vehicle is half under water along Bristol Trail Drive in Lake Zurich following heavy early-morning rains Wednesday.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Zurich village and fire department officials work the flooding scene along Bristol Trail Drive in Lake Zurich Wednesday.

       Lake Zurich village and fire department officials work the flooding scene along Bristol Trail Drive in Lake Zurich Wednesday.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • The home of K.C. Faetz is under water on Thistle Lane in Lake Zurich Wednesday.

       The home of K.C. Faetz is under water on Thistle Lane in Lake Zurich Wednesday.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

Some residents on Lake Zurich's southeast side evacuated their homes early Wednesday after heavy rain caused flooding in their neighborhood near Quentin Road.

Flooding was most severe near Stone Avenue and Thistle Lane, just north of Bristol Trail Road. Lake Zurich Public Works crews set up pumps that sent floodwater east down Bristol Trail toward Quentin.

Other parts of Lake Zurich also experienced flooding problems. Officials said floodwater caused the failure of a sanitary lift station in the Braemar subdivision, north of Cuba Road and west of Ela Road, and damaged the village hall's lower level.

Mayor Thomas Poynton has signed a declaration of local emergency. Poynton and other village officials toured flooded neighborhoods and met with residents whose homes were damaged.

No flood-related injuries were reported.

Jeff and K.C. Faetz awoke about 5:15 a.m. Wednesday and scrambled to move their cars to higher ground and away from flooding at their Thistle Lane house. They returned to start placing sandbags around their home, but the effort proved futile and they left when the floodwater became overwhelming, Jeff Faetz said.

K.C. Faetz said she's frustrated with water that backs up from storm sewers onto her street when heavy rain hits.

Although the Faetzes said flooding has been common on Thistle Lane over the past 10 years, what happened Wednesday eclipsed anything they've seen since moving to the area in 1985.

"We've never had Bristol Trail like this," Jeff Faetz said. "It's never gotten as deep down the road as this is."

Kathy Barton, a 27-year neighborhood resident, said this was the first time she's seen floodwater work its way south from Bristol Trail and Thistle to Riley Lane.

"They've got to figure a way to stop this," Barton said.

National Weather Service reports show 6.63 inches of rain fell on Lake Zurich early Wednesday, making it one of the hardest-hit communities in the Northwest suburbs, the village said in a news release. Public works manager Mike Brown said it was about 6:10 a.m. when crews were dispatched with pumps and sandbags for the Bristol Trail neighborhood.

"Anybody's (sewer) system just can't keep up with it," Brown said. "It just can't."

Lake Zurich has funding for a drainage study for the area that already was planned, Brown said. Employees from Vernon Hills-based Manhard Consulting Ltd. -- a civil engineering, water resources management and surveying firm -- were brought in to study the flooded streets Wednesday.

Brown said Lake Zurich also is in the process of applying for Federal Emergency Management Agency grants that would help pay to help reduce flooding in the area.

"I have never seen (the flooding) this bad," Brown said, "and I've been here 23 years."

Meanwhile, officials said the failed sanitary lift station only affects the Braemar subdivision. They said property owners will be without sanitary sewer service until further notice and may experience backups.

Damage to the village hall's lower level will force elected officials to meet elsewhere next week. The village board will gather at Lake Zurich police headquarters, 200 Mohawk Trail, for their session at 7 p.m. Monday.

Fire Chief David Wheelock said at least four motorists were rescued after driving into deep water. One rescue occurred on Buesching Road near fire department headquarters, he said.

Residents are asked to complete a data collection questionnaire on the village's website or collect a copy at village hall to aid in a flood-damage assessment. Completed forms should be returned to village hall or emailed to flood@lakezurich.org.

"It is important that our residents report any flood damage to us in the event they may become eligible for reimbursement if the appropriate disaster declarations are made," Poynton said.

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