Flooding from record heavy rains has hit a dozen suburban communities, including Cicero ... Cicero crews were out all day and night during the record rainfall and flooding, ensuring the sewer covers were clear to help expedite the draining of the record and heavy rain. To be clear the record setting rainfall saw over 8" of rain in a six hour timeframe, something not manageable by any size sewer system or retention district.
Cicero homeowners are suffering like all residents and homeowners throughout the southwest region, where the unusually heavy rains caused great problems due to these heavy rains.
The real problem, however, is the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, MWRD, which only opened its drainage lines very late, again helping Chicago neighborhoods to drain first before opening the locks for suburban communities like Cicero... Cicero has absolutely no control over these locks, which are controlled by the MWRD, which has ONE responsibility to manage rainwater drainage. With a $2 billion-plus budget, they don't do an excellent job for the suburbs.
Over the years, we have demanded that the MWRD change its practices and treat the suburbs equally regarding rainwater drainage ... they have refused. We are asking our state legislators, the county board, and congressional representatives to do something about this recurring problem that has harmed Cicero and our neighboring communities.
Much of the flooding has finally receded, but it would have drained faster had the MWRD treated the suburban communities with the same concern that they treat the city of Chicago and the wealthier Chicago homes and neighborhoods on the north side of the city ... once again, this is about the MWRD putting Chicago needs above the needs of the suburbs and their ignoring the huge taxes suburban residents pay to the MWRD. Cicero has absolutely no control over the MWRD's rainwater drainage system.
Many Cicero homes have installed water backup check valves that stop the water from backing up into their homes. Others with low windows have reinforced their window areas to prevent water from coming through the entire structures, which has always been a common problem. We have urged homes to prepare for water damage by taking some of these steps.
We are also working with county and state officials and other suburban communities to have the area again declared a disaster area to qualify for federal, state, and county funding, but that takes time. If the region is approved for financial assistance, the program will be run through Cook County and we will disseminate all of the info we can to the residents to seek out and apply for this financial assistance and relief.
Like many other suburban communities, we want to know when the water reclamation district will finally treat the suburbs as equals with the city and address suburban flooding needs.
We also urge residents to join in demanding that the MWRD does its single job to address rainwater flooding by calling their offices.