CHICAGO (CBS) — Flooding in far south suburban Ford Heights has forced three public schools to close on Wednesday.
Many people in Ford Heights could not get in or out of their homes after getting more than 3.5 inches of rain over the past couple days. Combined with melting snow, the rain has swelled Deer Creek, which flows through the village, and left water up to the hoods of cars on some streets.
Cottage Grove School, Medgar Evers School, and Tidye A. Phillips School were closed as a result of the flooding in Ford Heights.
Ford Heights Mayor Annie Coulter said the flooding is the worst the village has had since 2000. At least eight streets flooded, mostly around Deer Creek.
Coulter said officials will evaluate water levels later on Wednesday to determine if the schools will reopen on Thursday.
Many residents essentially have been left stranded, unable to get to their homes because of all the water in the streets.
“It’s an unsettling feeling. It’s really unsettling, because right now I’m at someone else’s house; not really comfortable. You know, you’ve got to sleep in someone else’s bed. It’s not me,” said Demetrius Hughes.
Officials rescued 8 to 12 elderly residents who were trapped in their homes on Tuesday.
Some Ford Heights residents already have started throwing out waterlogged furniture after their homes were flooded. Many homes along Cedar Road also were facing potential flooding from a nearby creek.
The American Red Cross offered assistance opening a shelter in Ford Heights, but a spokesperson said the families who were forced out of their homes already had places to go.
Plunging temperatures presented another possible problem in Ford Heights, with many residents worried flood waters could begin to freeze before they can drain away. Temperatures have dropped more than 30 degrees from a high of 63 on Tuesday to about 30 degrees early Wednesday.