CHICAGO (CBS) — An 84-year-old woman in west suburban Berwyn said she is fed up with flooding in her alley.
And a local alderman said she’s not the only one with the problem. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reports, she’s been dealing with it for years.
Pictures taken earlier this year tell a story of pooled water. And on colder days, thick sheets of ice around Joyce Lewis’ garage at 38th and Maple.
“And then it melts, and it freezes. And it melts and freezes,” Lewis said.
After the water dries up, she said the water damage to her garage remains.
“It’s rotting out my garage on both sides,” Lewis said, adding that she knows April showers won’t help.
“I have a bad knee. My grandson lives with me and he’s a disabled vet,” Lewis said. “He has surgery on his knees. We have a hard time getting out. Even to just get to the garage.”
Alderman Scott Lennon said part of the problem is that older alleys like Joyce’s are higher in the middle and lower on the sides, which sends water toward Joyce’s garage. Lennon said he’s heard from a handful of other residents with similar complaints.
“Well it should be a higher priority, but I don’t know…we have a tight budget.”
The alderman said the city is focused on repaving streets. But he said thanks to a grant earned in 2017, the city put in 15 new alleys, which allow water to drain through a section in the middle.
“I would like a new alley but they say there’s not enough money for that,” Lewis said.
Joyce and Lennon said the city’s public works director took a look at the alley earlier this week. Lennon said he’s working with the city, looking into what can be done.
In the meantime, whenever it rains, Joyce said she needs boots to take out the garbage.
“I have to walk onto the grass and then over onto the gangway, and hold onto the fence or the other side of my garage to steady myself to get to the garage.”
The alderman added that if enough people support a petition on that block, a new alley could be possible, but taxpayers would likely have to foot the bill.
Tim’s story started with a tip from a viewer. If you know anything we should check out, send us an email at CBSChicagotips@cbs.com.