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updated: 7/2/2013 5:12 AM

Lake Zurich residents plead for village's flood help

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  • About 50 residents attended Monday's Lake Zurich village board meeting with concern over last week's flooding.

      About 50 residents attended Monday's Lake Zurich village board meeting with concern over last week's flooding.
    Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

  • Thomas Poynton

    Thomas Poynton


Lake Zurich residents whose homes sustained significant damage from last week's flooding sought help from village officials Monday night, and got a little.

Several of about 50 residents who attended the village board session described how they endured floodwater filling their homes, the loss of vehicles, refused insurance claims and other problems. They also praised the community at large for volunteering assistance.

"We need help," said Bristol Trail Road resident Lisa Greenberg, whose neighborhood sustained severe flooding.

Village board trustees provided some help by voting 6-0 in favor of waiving permit fees necessary for work on electrical, heating-air conditioning units and water heathers so residents can get back in their homes as soon as possible. Officials said the residents must complete a special form to get the waiver.

Criticism about the fees was directed at the board by some speakers before the vote, but Mayor Thomas Poynton said he had broached the possibility of a waiver with Village Manager Jason Slowinski before Monday evening.

Trustee Jonathan Sprawka asked that all permit fees be waived for affected homeowners. Poynton said a vote on Sprawka's suggestion is expected at the next village board session July 15.

"It's a small sacrifice for the citizens of Lake Zurich to offer a waiver on the permit fees," Sprawka said.

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 Road. Some residents said problems have been escalating over the past 10 years.

Other parts of Lake Zurich also experienced flooding problems. 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.

Some residents in the area of Stone Avenue, Thistle Lane and Bristol Trail on the village's southeast side said they are frustrated with water that backs up from storm sewers onto the streets when heavy rain hits.

National Weather Service reports showed 6.63 inches of rain fell on Lake Zurich early in the morning June 26, making it one of the hardest-hit communities in the Northwest suburbs.

Stanton Court resident Don Mason told the village board that his basement flooded to the top of its ceiling and reached the first floor of his house. He questioned whether overdevelopment has increased flooding.

"This seems to be getting worse," Mason said.

Water burst through three windows in Greenberg's basement. She said her husband was ripping apart kitchen cabinets and couldn't attend Monday's village board meeting.

Lake Zurich has funding for a drainage study for the Bristol Trail area, which Poynton said he's confident will proceed. Employees from Vernon Hills-based Manhard Consulting Ltd. -- a civil engineering, water resources management and surveying firm -- were brought in to study Bristol Trail and surrounding streets.

Public works manager Mike Brown said the drainage study will explore what's happening upstream and downstream from the Bristol Trail area.

"It's going to take a little time," Brown said. "We will get there."

Slowinski said the fire department used a boat to handle evacuations at 26 homes last week. He said police officers assisted at least 20 motorists who became stranded after driving into high-standing water.

Damage to the village hall's lower level will force elected officials to meet at police headquarters Monday night.

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