Mayor Lorraine Morton signed a disaster declaration Monday proclaiming a state of emergency in Evanston after heavy rainfall produced flooding over the weekend.

The declaration will help the city receive any state or federal assistance that becomes available to help with cleanup efforts.

The Evanston Water Plant recorded 7.21 inches of rainfall Saturday, roughly a 100-year rain event.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Deep Tunnel System was filled to capacity.  The district opened the locks into Lake Michigan at Wilmette. All Evanston sewers were filled to capacity, or surcharged, and there was no where else for water to go until the system stabilized.

Flooding relatively limited here

The Public Works Department received over 140 calls Saturday about street, alley and basement flooding.

Public Works Director John Burke says 44 of the callers reported basement flooding.

He says Water and Sewer Division staff who responded to the calls discovered that many involved seepage of water into the basement, rather than sewer line back-ups.

Water and Sewer Superintendent Dave Stoneback, said that compared to neighboring communities, Evanston had relatively few reports of flooding. The low number of calls in Evanston “is in large part due to the city’s investment in its Long-Range Sewer Plan,” Stoneback said.

Over the last decade, Evanston taxpayers have invested over $200 million in constructing a relief sewer system to handle major storms and reduce basement back-ups from the combined sewer system. The final phase of that project will be completed this year.

Special debris pickups scheduled

The City’s Streets and Sanitation Division will collect flood debris this Friday, Saturday and Sunday to help residents clean up after the heavy rainfall.

Residents who normally have their trash collected on Thursdays will have their bulk trash, which was already scheduled, and flood refuse collected on Friday, Sept. 19. Refuse must be out by 7 a.m. Friday morning.

Residents who normally have their trash collected on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays will have their flood refuse collected this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20 and 21.

All materials to be discarded must be out at the curb or alleys by 7 a.m. on Saturday. Crews that cannot finish their routes on Saturday will return on Sunday to complete their collections.

Flood debris will not be collected after this weekend. For more information on the collection of flood debris, call Streets and Sanitation at (847) 866-2940.

General information and tips about cleaning up after a flood are available on the city’s website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. what disaster exactly?
    A state of emergency? A disaster area? This is a joke, right? Give me a break. I think the mayor is overreacting just a wee bit here.

    Now the non-funded pension fund…that’s a state of emergency!

    But not quite as glamorous as a imagined flood of biblical proportions.

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