Mount Prospect's Burning Bush detention area put to the test early

 
Updated 5/21/2020 5:28 PM

Mount Prospect has yet to see the completion of the flood relief project at Burning Bush Trails Park. But Public Works Director Sean Dorsey told the village board this week that the detention facility was pressed into premature service during Sunday's heavy rain.

As a result, many homes in the neighborhood were spared from flooding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Dorsey said public works officials initially didn't want to disturb the site, which is mostly complete and is at the proper grade.

But seeing that the manhole near Park Drive and Tano Lane had reached maximum level readings at about 6:45 p.m., public works decided to open a bulkhead, an inflatable bladder that blocks a pipe. This provided an avenue for the stormwater into the detention pond.

"None of the grass seeding is in, so we didn't want to fill it with water and have all the dirt wash off. But given the intensity of the storm and the potential for damage, we elected to pull the bulkhead and have the detention pond take on water," Dorsey said.

By 7:20 p.m., the water level in the manhole dropped, and extensive street flooding was avoided.

A grateful Trustee William Grossi, who lives near Burning Bush Trails Park, thanked Dorsey, telling him, "I think you saved quite a few homes," particular on the lower section of Park Drive.

Dorsey said the Des Plaines River at the gauge just north of Euclid Avenue crested at 19.77 feet, short of the record of 20.9 feet at that location in 2013.

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The amount of rainfall for the month was 8.25 inches, a new record for May, set last year at 8.24 inches.

Dorsey said the village received 220 requests for service between 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday night. Some were related to storm sewers, and others for private property drainage issues and sanitary sewer backups.

Most of the complaints, 155 total, were about street flooding.

Almost all the issues, he said, were resolved that night.

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