Lake Zurich officials: Overall, June flood response was good
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Lake Zurich officials have identified areas where they succeeded and need improvement in a review of the handling of a June 26 flood that resulted after a heavy rain quickly pounded the village.
Deputy Fire Chief Donald Golubski gave a presentation with the in-house critique's findings during Monday's village board session. Golubski said officials from a variety of departments met July 16 to review their performance.
"Overall, we believe that all of our staff members rose to the occasion and provided the best services possible," Golubski said. "The public works department responded to multiple areas, began pumping operations as soon as possible."
Flooding was most severe in a 2-square-mile area near Stone Avenue and Thistle Lane in Cedar Creek subdivision, just north of Bristol Trail Road and west of Quentin Road.
Other parts of Lake Zurich experienced flooding problems, such as the Braemar subdivision north of Cuba Road and west of Ela Road. Floodwater caused the failure of two sanitary lift stations in the Braemar.
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.
Golubski said Lake Zurich's public safety and security response was examined. On the plus side, he said, village officials communicated well among themselves in the morning and many arrived to work early after becoming aware of the heavy rain and flooding.
Building department employees performed early damage assessments and police activated community emergency response teams and sent volunteers to neighborhoods, Golubski said in citing other strong performances. He also noted automated phone messages about the problems were sent to certain areas.
However, Golubski said, there are areas village personnel should improve on if a similar circumstance occurs again in Lake Zurich.
An emergency operations center was ready to roll, he said, but it never was staffed by department heads or other employees who stayed in touch primarily over the telephone.
"It would have been better to have a lot of face-to-face contact after we got over the initial phase of the incident," Golubski said.
He said specific questions should have been asked of those who called the emergency dispatch center, such as the whether flood water was filling a basement.
Public works manager Mike Brown said meetings have been held with residents and problems identified in areas hit by the flooding. Brown said 300 to 400 sandbags and pumps are ready to go at all times and that one of the Thistle Lane flood victims in the Cedar Creek subdivision, K.C. Faetz, now has his wireless phone number.
Village board trustees have approved paying $37,900 to Manhard Consulting Ltd. to perform the drainage study in Cedar Creek. Officials said Manhard — a civil engineering, water resources management and surveying firm — is expected to produce a first-phase study in six to nine months.
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