Some Des Plaines residents forced to evacuate as floodwaters rise

  • Galen Hiestand, Jacob Herz and Mike Herz push the stalled car of Tom Bonanno out of the water Friday afternoon on River Road in Des Plaines after he drove through it trying to get to his son's house.

      Galen Hiestand, Jacob Herz and Mike Herz push the stalled car of Tom Bonanno out of the water Friday afternoon on River Road in Des Plaines after he drove through it trying to get to his son's house. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Rising water on River Road in Des Plaines.

      Rising water on River Road in Des Plaines. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Des Plaines city workers use chain saws to cut and remove a tree that fell across Big Bend Drive, which was flooded Friday morning.

      Des Plaines city workers use chain saws to cut and remove a tree that fell across Big Bend Drive, which was flooded Friday morning. Chacour Koop | Staff Photographer

  • A bicyclist travels through floodwaters on River Road near Brookdale Senior Living in Des Plaines. The assisted living facility planned to evacuate Friday before calling it off.

      A bicyclist travels through floodwaters on River Road near Brookdale Senior Living in Des Plaines. The assisted living facility planned to evacuate Friday before calling it off. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • Water filled homes, front yards and backyards in Des Plaines Friday as the nearby Des Plaines River continued to rise. Flood levels are expected to remain high through the weekend.

      Water filled homes, front yards and backyards in Des Plaines Friday as the nearby Des Plaines River continued to rise. Flood levels are expected to remain high through the weekend. Chacour Koop | Staff Photographer

  • A bicyclist rides through water flowing across Hawthorne Lane in Des Plaines, where residents were evacuating as the river level continued to rise.

      A bicyclist rides through water flowing across Hawthorne Lane in Des Plaines, where residents were evacuating as the river level continued to rise. Chacour Koop | Staff Photographer

  • Residents off Rand Road in Des Plaines used sandbags to hold back floodwaters as the Des Plaines River continued to rise Friday.

      Residents off Rand Road in Des Plaines used sandbags to hold back floodwaters as the Des Plaines River continued to rise Friday. Chacour Koop | Staff Photographer

  • Residents wade through floodwaters on Big Bend Drive in Des Plaines as the Des Plaines River reached near-record levels Friday.

      Residents wade through floodwaters on Big Bend Drive in Des Plaines as the Des Plaines River reached near-record levels Friday. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • As floodwaters from the Des Plaines River covered River Road in Des Plaines, a bicyclist pedaled into water.

      As floodwaters from the Des Plaines River covered River Road in Des Plaines, a bicyclist pedaled into water. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • Floodwaters reached across River Road and Lee Street in Des Plaines, closing the McDonald's restaurant, and forcing firefighters to exit the back of their firehouse to respond to calls.

      Floodwaters reached across River Road and Lee Street in Des Plaines, closing the McDonald's restaurant, and forcing firefighters to exit the back of their firehouse to respond to calls. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/14/2017 6:38 PM

Some Des Plaines residents near the Des Plaines River were forced to evacuate their homes Friday as floodwaters continued to rise, though officials say the flood of 2017 isn't as bad as previous floods that hit the city.

The National Weather Service Friday morning downgraded its flooding forecast after previously predicting the river could crest at record levels this weekend. Still, Friday the river was at a major flooding level of 19.9 feet, about a foot under the record.

 

It's expected to remain at that height through the weekend as water from Lake County -- which was hit with the brunt of the rain during storms this week -- continues flowing downstream.

On Big Bend Drive, often the first area in Des Plaines to flood, Glenview resident Dany Yonan Friday morning was helping his father evacuate. He feared the flooding would cause health problems such as mold.

"It's unlivable conditions for at least a month -- the water, the seepage, the health conditions," Yonan said.

Tom Bonanno trys to drive through standing water on River Road in Des Plaines Friday afternoon to get to his son's house. His car stalled.
  Tom Bonanno trys to drive through standing water on River Road in Des Plaines Friday afternoon to get to his son's house. His car stalled. - Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

A large tree had fallen across Big Bend Drive as the floodwaters saturated the ground around its roots. City public works employees used chain saws to remove the trunk from the roadway while standing in water about a foot deep on the road.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Nearby, floodwaters were gushing through yards and across the streets. One resident had prepared by placing a canoe and paddles by his front door.

Yonan and his father, George Babico, had a sense of helplessness as they took essential belongings from the home.

"What are you going to do?" Yonan said, shrugging as he waded toward his car.

About a mile away, officials at Brookdale Senior Living, which overlooks the river at 800 S. River Road, were making preparations for a possible evacuation, before deciding about 1 p.m. to call it off. The building faced electrical challenges, but those problems were resolved and residents allowed to stay.

Some relatives had already come to pick up family members, and Brookdale had been making preparations to transport other residents to nearby hotels.

At Des Plaines Fire Station 1 at 405 S. River Road, firefighters and paramedics had to exit the back of the firehouse to respond to calls because of flooding in front of the station. The situation isn't as bad as in 2013, said Fire Chief Alan Wax, when the station had to be closed because of worse flooding in the area.

"In the past we've been under water," Wax said. "Today we're high and dry."

The McDonald's restaurant across the street though was closed, its parking lot filled with water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Road closures remained in effect across Des Plaines, and city officials said they may continue through the weekend as needed, including:

• Central Road between River and East River roads

• Joseph Schwab Road between Miner Street and Algonquin Road

• Hawthorne Lane and Big Bend Drive subdivision

• Thacker Street between River Road and Cora Street

• River Road between Rand Road and Elk Boulevard

• River Road between Algonquin Road and Miner Street

• River Road between Miner and Oakton streets

• Northbound River Road at Central Road

• Northbound Lee Street between Elk Boulevard and River Road

• Golf Road between River and East River roads

• Algonquin Road between Oakton and Lee streets

• River Drive between Stewart Street and Shagbark Lane

• Harding Avenue between Willow Avenue and Oak Street

For up-to-date road closures, the city has posted a map www.desplaines.org.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.