Residents of Calumet City are recovering from a second round of flooding in less than three months after more than half a foot of rain fell on the area Sunday.
Though the official rain total for Chicago was just 1.6 inches, measured at O’Hare Airport, the National Weather Service reported Monday that radar estimates suggest 8 to 10 inches fell in the Calumet City area. Southern Cook County was doused with 4 to 6 inches, the service said.
The deluge caused flash flooding that overwhelmed streets, leading to several rescues of people from vehicles, and saw homes fill with feet of water.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago released a statement Monday saying it’s “working around the clock to manage the excess water coming into its seven water reclamation plants throughout Cook County.”
While there’s still plenty of capacity in MWRD’s Deep Tunnel reservoirs for holding incoming stormwater and wastewater, the challenge during extreme rainfall events such as Sunday’s lies in getting water from local sewers into MWRD’s pipes, officials said.
“Few local sewers have capacity to handle these rain totals and convey this flow to the MWRD’s intercepting sewers and TARP (Deep Tunnel) infrastructure,” MWRD officials said in a statement.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency had just opened a Disaster Recovery Center in Calumet City Sept. 14 to assist people with claims from flooding that happened in July.
Calumet City Mayor Thaddeus Jones told ABC-7 News the city would have to apply for additional disaster assistance from the state to cope with the latest flood.
Residents poured out their frustration on social media, posting videos of furniture and possessions floating in their flooded homes.
Said one resident: “I can’t this was worst than what happened in July!! All my stuff is gone!”
Crazy day in Calumet City after flash flooding occurred down the streets off of Sibley. pic.twitter.com/sIUBFcl8m4
— Paul Goddard (@PGoddardNews) September 17, 2023
An area along 147th St near the IL/IN state line approaching 10” of rain, with total exceeding 6” in a stripe from East Chicago IN to Harvey
Of course, significant flooding pic.twitter.com/v0BvN0aKs7
— WindyCity Weather and News (@WindyCityWxMan) September 17, 2023