Northern Cook County suburbs fight flooding
Though the most severe flooding from Wednesday's rains was reported in Lake County, several Cook County suburbs -- particularly those on or near the border -- also struggled with problems.
Barrington Village Manager Jeff Lawler said the increasing rate of rainfall of each storm wreaked havoc with some of the village's most flood-prone areas.
Particularly hard hit was the intersection of Summit and Russell streets, adjacent to Miller Park and the village's Metra commuter station in the southeast corner of the village center. Sanitary sewer manhole covers were blown off by the swell of floodwaters as each wave of rain became more intense than the last, he said.
Overnight rains were measured at a rate of 2.35 inches per hour and then 1.7 inches per hour. But in the morning, two further waves were measured at 3.76 inches per hour and 5.28 inches per hour, Lawler said.
The breaks between waves was welcome, but they were never enough to return conditions to normal, he said.
Palatine Deputy Village Manager Mike Jacobs said the biggest impacts his village had to deal with were flooded intersections at Smith and Colfax as well as Quentin and Palatine roads. Only the intersection of Smith and Colfax had to be closed for any length of time, he said.
Buffalo Grove received dozens of calls about street flooding, downed trees and power outages as a strong thunderstorm system moved through, spokeswoman Melanie Santostefano said. There were about 2,400 customers without power in the morning, she said.
Wheeling was "dealing with some localized flooding in some key areas, but we're on top of each of them," Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said. "We've made a lot of infrastructure improvements in the last few years and those are starting to show their worth," he said.
Des Plaines, a perennial problem spot for flooding, experienced none Wednesday morning, said John Pluta, the city's deputy executive coordinator for Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
But with the National Weather Service projecting that the Des Plaines River could rise to 6½ feet above flood stage by 1 a.m. Friday, Des Plaines activated its Emergency Operations Center to start actions necessary to protect local property and inform citizens.
The city is prepared to take appropriate steps, officials said. Emergency updates will be posted on the city's website at desplaines.org and emergency calls should be made to 9-1-1.
In anticipation of the rising river, Oakton Community College announced that its Des Plaines campus, adjacent to the river at 1600 E. Golf Road, will be closed Thursday. Both the Des Plaines and Skokie campuses will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They are scheduled to reopen Monday, July 17. Updates will be posted on Oakton's website, oakton.edu.
The Arlington Heights Police Department turned to backup generators Wednesday after a power failure at its temporary headquarters at 1500 W. Shure Drive, where it is leasing space during construction of a new police station in downtown Arlington Heights.
And at the western edge of Cook County, Hanover Township Emergency Services reported it assisted two households in pumping out their basements while Hoffman Estates Village Manager Jim Norris reported a large amount of road flooding but none that required closures.