Residents Hopeful $2M Project Will Alleviate Flooding
The village will soon begin work on a $2 million project that will seek to relieve flooding north of Lake Ellyn Park.
Every time it rains Roberta Cleary fears she'll be robbed again—by Mother Nature. She lives on Essex Court, a low-lying area just north of Lake Ellyn Park that is plagued by floods during heavy rains.
If you ask Cleary to describe what she has lost to floods over the years, she will rattle off a list of belongings, some with big cash value and others with great sentimental value: her wedding gown, a car, a Christmas tree, family photographs, yearbooks, golf bags, clothes, a treadmill, a big screen TV, an antique dining room set, a bedroom set. And the list goes on.
"We got robbed by Mother Nature," Cleary said. "You get to the point where you got hurt so bad that things don't mean anything to you anymore."
The village board, which last week approved contracts for construction and engineering totaling just over $2 million, hopes the project will keep flood water out of Cleary's house.
"This is a significant existing problem there. There are frequent floods that cause damages to homes," said Bob Minix, professional engineer for the village. Although the impact may be limited to a few homes, Minix said these homeowners have incurred costly damages throughout the years.
The goal of the project is to intercept the water before it gets to the low point at Essex Court near Cleary's home. Engineers plan to do this in a number of ways.
First, the intersection of Lenox Road and Oak Street will be reconfigured, to ensure that water does not make the turn south onto Lenox Road. The reconfiguration will steer the water east, so it continues east on Oak Street. Minix said the goal is to tip the water away from the court.
A larger storm sewer will run the length of Essex Road from Lenox Road on the east to Lake Road on the west, to catch additional storm water heading for Cleary's cul-de-sac.
The island in the cul-de-sac will be substantially lowered so the water that does get in is funneled into three very large pipes underneath the cul-de-sac that will carry the flow away from the court and toward an open channel, dumping the water in Perry's Pond.
But resident Joe Sinopoli said this plan will just push more unwanted water onto his property.
The channel that runs through Sinopoli’s property on Riford Road is an integral artery that flushes water through his property to Perry's Pond and, ultimately, into the East Branch of the DuPage River. With this new project, Sinopoli is worried more water will churn through the channel on his property and continue to cause damage to his lot.
“Now there is erosion, and falling trees. A massive cottonwood fell just the other day," Sinopoli said. “The people impacted on Essex, Lake and Oak—I understand that. I need to be helped, too."
Minix said help is on the way. The village has a plan to repair the channel that will cost between $135,000 and $150,000. It will include the use of more natural materials, such as trees and plants to help with erosion and the overall look of channel.
Because the village’s plan will, in turn, help with the quality of water, DuPage County Stormwater Management will write a check for 20 percent of the channel project, nearly $30,000, according to Minix.
"The new board members that have come in, in the last couple years, and the new board manager, have been extremely sensitive to this issue and have shown every inclination to try and do something to correct it. It's given us all a lot of hope over here," said Sinopoli.