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Storms Leave Basements, Streets Flooded

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Roseland Flooding

Dwain Easterling had 6 feet of water flooding his basement in his Roseland neighborhood home Thursday morning. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The storms Thursday morning have had many Chicago area residents dealing with serious flooding, particularly on the city’s South Side.

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, at 100th Place and Princeton Avenue in the Roseland neighborhood, a tree branch had come down and covered up a storm drain. Similar situations had caused problems all over the area.

On the east side of Princeton Avenue, many homes were flooded. One resident, Dwain Easterling, had as much as 6 feet of water in his basement.

Easterling’s basement turned essentially into a giant dirty swimming pool, with his utility equipment and laundry left floating.

When Easterling woke up, he simply couldn’t believe his eyes.

“I was floored. I wasn’t expecting this,” he said. “I knew I might have a little water. I had a new sump pump put in, but I wasn’t expecting this. This was just unbelievable. I’ve never seen this much. This was a disaster; everything has to go. It’s a big loss.

“Everything was new,” Easterling continued. “I got a new washer and dryer, a new water heater, a new tank – everything’s a loss.”

Meanwhile, a woman from the South Side’s Burnside neighborhood said she lives in an area with many seniors whose yards, basements and street are flooded. The woman, who lives near 93rd and Wallace streets, said she has 3 feet of black, muddy water in her basement already.

Some neighbors have sump pumps, but they don’t appear to be helping, the woman said.

Also, the water is up over the curb on the street, and cars have to turn around midway through the street rather than drive through, the woman said.

Also Thursday morning, Mount Greenwood neighborhood man reported flooding in his basement, and said he was having difficulty calling 311.

Citywide, the South Side saw the most serious problems Thursday morning. In total, the vast majority of flooded basements across the city were on the South Side.

Also, about 150 streets in the city were reportedly flooded, of which 130 were on the South Side.

Just before 10 a.m., the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway had to be closed between 86th and 87th streets due to high standing water, and police were forcing motorists off the expressway and back on at 83rd Street.

Also, at least two viaducts on the Far South Side have flooded and two manhole covers have burst, according to authorities.

As of 9:45 a.m. a viaduct on 95th Street between Cottage Grove and Stony Island Avenue is flooded. And in another Far South Side area, there is heavy flooding on Longwood Drive from 95th Street to 103rd in the city’s Beverly neighborhood.

City Water Department spokesman Tom LaPorte said as of 8 a.m., the department had received 16 calls of water in basements and 19 calls of water in the streets.

Flash flood warnings were issued for many areas as a result of the storms.

The suburb of Oak Lawn experienced similar problems overnight, CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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