2 Investigators: Tollway, Railroad Create Flood Repeats For Home Owner

(CBS) — A Willow Springs family’s home has flooded dozens of times in the past few years, and they blame the Illinois Tollway and a railroad with nearby property.

Finally, they reached out to 2 Investigator Dave Savini for help.

When heavy rain is in the forecast, Joe Russo is in a battle against the clock.

“I’m out here like a mad man going crazy,” he says.

He’s trying to protect his Willow Springs home, which repeatedly floods. He says he has had 45 floods since he bought it four years ago from a bank.

He worries about nearby drains, some belonging to the Illinois Tollway.

Russo says clogged drains are a big problem, too.

And drainage issues on other property owned by the Canadian National Railway also causes his place to flood, he says.

The damage has been extensive. He’s had to replace washing machines, dryers and refrigerators and a furnace. Two of his antique cars have been flooded out, he says, and he’s lost two motorcycles due to flood damage.

“I’ve lost over 200-grand easy,” Russo says.

Brent Woods, Willow Springs administrator, says they are trying to get the railroad to clean its drains.

“Nobody should have to go through all this,” he says.

Woods says the village is also are working with the Tollway on a solution.

“They did have plans to come in and mitigate this problem and they still do,” he says.

In the meantime, Russo says he’s stuck: “They’re saying my house is worth $350,000. I cannot give my house away.”

“I had a dream home that turned into a nightmare.”

Russo says his home has mold now, which is causing he and his family to get sick.

The Illinois Tollway says it will analyze the flooding and will work with the village and railroad to fix the problem.

Russo says he wasn’t getting any help until the 2 Investigators got involved.

CNR did not respond to CBS 2.

Russo says he’s hoping the railroad will buy his house so that he can move on.

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