THE LANDMARK VIEW
From the better late than never department, Brookfield residents who live in the low-lying areas near Salt Creek have got to be happy that the village has responded to some of their complaints after suffering through last summer’s flooding.
In the span of three years, the village experienced three flooding events. In two of those situations, the village should have been better prepared.
We’re sure that residents around Washington and Prairie and the 3500 and 3600 blocks of Forest Avenue, for example, are taking a wait-and-see attitude with respect to Brookfield’s new rapid-response plan.
But the fact that there is now a plan to get sand and bags to known flood-risk areas before the flooding starts to wreak havoc on homes near Salt Creek is a good and necessary response to what looks to be a disturbingly regular occurrence.
Brookfield officials also must make sure that the effort doesn’t end there. One frequent complaint in the wake of last July’s flooding (and to some extent this February during the blizzard) was a disconnect between the police department’s dispatch center and the public works department.
There needs to be information available from one source, and while they have plenty of other things on their plate, the most sensible place to go to for that kind of info is the police dispatch center, which is manned 24 hours a day. In any case, during events like floods and blizzards, public works employees are most likely out on the street dealing with the situation and not sitting in the office waiting for calls.
So there needs to be a way for police to respond to residents other than directing them to public works. There needs to be an active line of communication between the two departments to make sure residents’ concerns are addressed and questions answered.
Of course, no amount of preparation or communication is a 100-percent remedy for flooding. If it rains hard enough, for long enough, at some point the banks of Salt Creek are going to overflow.
For those times when the banks don’t overflow, however, the village should seek to on a regular basis inspect all of the storm sewer outlets to the creek to make sure they are sealed tightly and working properly so that no water flows back into an already overtaxed system.
All the sandbags in the world don’t help when water is coming up through floor drains in the basement.