Flooding Causes Community to Come Together

Madison Parola, Features/Opinion Editor

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Photos outside Madison Parola's home the morning after the flood.

 On July 12, 6 inches of rain caused a flood and an uproar in the Village of Mundelein and other local towns. Rain, high winds, lightning, thunder and hail damaged homes and brought panic to many residents– sending the community into an emergency flood response.

“My basement flooded Saturday morning, and [my family] found about 4 inches of water, and our carpet was soaked,” said Senior Sydney Blackmer, a resident of Wauconda.

The flooding destroyed basements, and yards filled with water from the rain and local lakes as well as from sewage water.

As a resident of Mundelein, my house was flooded with sewage water, which was an inconvenience to get out, and I spent my day vacuuming water out of my house, moving furniture and lifting sandbags.  

English Department Chair Diane Covert lives in Johnsburg, and her neighborhood was also affected by the flood.

“[My] house is fairly high, so it didn’t get into our house, but our entire yard flooded all the way to the street,” said Covert.

Houses that were on hills and on higher ground avoided the heaviest effects of the flooding.

“I was unhappy that our whole yard was full of water, but it could’ve been worse,” said Covert, “And our lawn is now all ruined; the flowers are ruined. We had fish in our yard.”  

Similar to Covert, my yard was filled with water to the point that I could have swum through it. The water filled all the way up to my driveway and almost caused my pool to completely overfill.  

With the flooding arriving throughout the night, many people spent the next day cleaning and had to cancel plans for the future because of the destruction.

“My family had plans, and all those plans had to be occupied by taking out the carpet and vacuuming all the water up,” said Blackmer, “So the flooding took over our day.”

For my sister, this flood meant that her graduation party was canceled.

Covert also had to cancel a party she had planned for Labor Day weekend because of the destruction to her yard and a distinctive smell left behind from the water.

“I think one of the biggest problems is the smell. It smelled like a barn and decomposing material. It’s better now, but it still smells,” said Covert.

The communities affected by the flooding turned to each other for help. Residents of Mundelein, for example, helped each other by delivering sandbags and assisting with carpet removal.

“I think community-wise a lot of people came together to help, especially a couple close friends of mine,” said Blackmer.

The deliverance of sandbags helped several residents who couldn’t get to pick up sites since deep water levels had many cars stuck in driveways.  

The Village of Mundelein provided the opportunity to grab sandbags in town. However, when some residents, such as my family, notified the Village that not everyone could get to the sites to pick up sandbags, we were told that they were too busy to help residents by delivering sandbags and recommended finding neighbors who could help.  

However, a spokesperson for the Village of Mundelein explained why such a response was given.

Our main priority was safety for our residents. Our first actions were to get people away from the flooded buildings to a safe place until the flood waters subsided,” said Village of Mundelein Administrator John Lobaito.

The Village of Mundelein is also looking into more permanent solutions to avoid future flooding.

“The residents were generally happy with our response to the flood.  However, the small percentage of homeowners (compared to the total number of homes) that sustained damage from the flood were unhappy and frustrated from repeated flooding over the years,” said Lobaito. “Even though they were satisfied with our response, they are looking for a permanent solution to the flooding. As a result, the Board of Trustees authorized two engineering studies to analyze the causes and develop solutions to minimize the frequency of flooding in the future.”

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Flooding Causes Community to Come Together