More than two inches of rain fell — with greater totals reported anecdotally on the south end of Brookfield — within a 40 minute period Tuesday evening, flooding streets and basements as overwhelmed storm and sanitary sewers surcharged.
Drenching rains began falling at about 6:35 p.m. all over Chicago and its suburbs. While water pooled in streets and some basements before receding in places like North Riverside and Riverside, a cell of heavier rain reportedly fell in Brookfield, swamping areas around Ogden Avenue and farther south.
“We got closer to three inches [of rain],” said Brookfield Public Works Director Dan Kaup. “The issue wasn’t the amount we got — it was less than last April — but we don’t ever see rainfall at that rate.”
Kaup said the village’s storm and combined sewers reached capacity quickly, with severe surcharging of the systems on the south end, where there were numerous reports of flooded basements and impassable streets.
At least one manhole cover on Ogden Avenue near Prairie Avenue was dislodged by water surging up from the sewer line. The underpass on Ogden Avenue beneath the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks in LaGrange was closed due to flooding.
Kiwanis Park in the center of the village was also hit hard by the rains, said Kaup, who added that his department had received many calls about alley flooding as well.
“When the rain falls at such a rate, even it falls on grassy areas, it just sheet drains, because there’s no time to absorb it.”
Areas near Salt Creek that saw major flooding after the April 2013 storm did not experience the type of major flooding that occurred then. Salt Creek never approached flood stage during the storm and, according to Kaup, the water level remained below storm sewer outfalls into the creek.
There were reports of some power outages in Brookfield north of the BNSF railroad line.
Neither Riverside nor Riverside saw the same kind of widespread flooding, according to officials there. In North Riverside, Public Works Director Tim Kutt said that there was some street flooding, but the village had not received many calls related to basement flooding.
Riverside-Brookfield High School also escaped flooding in the storm. Apart from some roof leaks, which are an ongoing problem in certain areas of the building, the school escaped any serious water damage.