CHICAGO (CBS) – Flood waters have receded in the Albany Park neighborhood, which was overwhelmed by the swollen Chicago River on Thursday.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, Friday morning, the cleanup began for residents of the Northwest Side neighborhood on the banks of the North Branch of the Chicago River.
Some Albany Park residents appeared a bit shell-shocked the day after many streets and homes were flooded by the swollen Chicago River.
When one man standing on a muddy sidewalk was asked if he lived in the neighborhood, he joked, “not anymore.”
His street, Monticello Avenue, was underwater on Thursday, flooding coming up to the front steps of many homes.
“We had about five feet in the basement, so I don’t know, it’s probably toast. But it’s all out of there now, so it’s just a matter of cleanup,” he said.
A Water Management Department crew, led by First Deputy Commissioner Bill Bresnahan, was making the rounds on Friday, helping get rid of the last of the water in the street, where many cars were almost totally submerged on Thursday.
“We’ve currently got a pump here, we’re pumping the water over our sandbags that we built yesterday, and we’re pushing that into the river, so that we can get this street back to relatively normalcy,” Bresnahan said.
Albany Park resident Mike Conway moved into the neighborhood a month ago, at Monticello near Argyle, the first home he owned.
The city helped set up sandbags around his home on Thursday to hold back the flooding as best they could.
“It looks like they’re quarantining us,” he said Thursday. “But they were good enough to set up these blockades for us.”
But by the time the sandbagging started, it was already too late for most residents, as the river rose fast and flooded streets and basements before sandbags could be put down.
“Some of our employees, our laborers, were standing in the water up to their chests, putting those sandbags down,” Bresnahan said.
As if to add insult to injury, there was a stinging, blowing snow in the area Friday morning.
However, the water began receding Thursday evening, and had drained from most homes and streets by Friday morning. Crews were pumping the last of the water back into the fast-moving river.