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Report: 911 Calls Went Unanswered During Storms In Northwest Suburbs

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Flooding

The storms over the weekend brought severe flooding to Des Plaines. (Credit: CBS)

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — A northwest suburban emergency dispatch center was flooded with calls during a record rainfall last month, and a torrent of them went unanswered.

WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports as nearly 7 inches of rain fell in a period of three hours July 23, a stream of 911 calls 10 times the normal volume came into the Northwest Suburban Dispatch System.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports


Eleven suburbs use the dispatch system, and all of them were hit hard by the storm, the Daily Herald reported.

The Daily Herald reports between 2 and 4 a.m., 1,000 calls were abandoned.

The executive director for the system told the Daily Herald that extra dispatchers were brought in, but could not keep up.

Many of the calls were about power outages and flooded basements, which are for private companies and not police and fire departments, the Daily Herald reported.

Arlington Heights Village President Arlene Mulder says she expects the dispatch system to review the situation and come up with improvements, the Daily Herald reported.

The storms on July 23 brought devastating flooding to many Chicago area suburbs, particularly along the Des Plaines River. In just that one weekend, July 2011 went from the third driest July on record to the second wettest, and soon afterward set a new record for the wettest July ever.

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