CHICAGO (CBS) — All the rain that has been falling in Chicago the past several weeks has caused plenty of water woes across Chicago, including some streets left flooded with large puddles long after the rain stops.
When it rains, it really pours outside Michelle Nowicki’s house in Portage Park.
A small pond forms in the street, and doesn’t drain for days after the rain stops. After a recent soaking, the streets around her home were dry, but right outside the big puddle stayed for more than 48 hours.
“They do do city cleaning weekly in the summer, but it still happens. Even after the street cleaning, the water accumulates,” she said.
The standing water creates an annoying stench, and parking can get tricky with the persistent puddles.
“It’s not okay to keep having the streets being flooded, and an inconvenience for taxpayers to be able to get out of their car and not get drenched,” Nowicki said.
Deborah Karabin also struggles with drainage problems across town in the Lakeview neighborhood.
A miniature lake covers the sidewalk and half the street at the busy intersection of Addison and Inner Lake Shore Drive when it rains. Pedestrians end up walking in the middle of the street to dodge the huge puddle that covers part of the crosswalk and sidewalk.
“I mean you can’t walk through it,” Karabin said.
Street flooding consistently causes headaches in the Dunning neighborhood as well.
The Department of Water Management said storm accumulation can vary based on topography, tree density, and catch basin maintenance.
In many cases, a city-installed device called a rain blocker purposefully keeps stormwater on the street to prevent the city’s combined sewer system from getting overwhelmed.
“It is better than having it back up into basements,” a Water Department spokesperson said.
That’s not acceptable to Nowicki
“If they’re constantly working on the city to improve it and the streets, they need to find a different solution,” she said.
She and other taxpayers have the opportunity to request a hydraulic study, according to the city’s website, but a CBS 2 records request for a log of completed studies came up empty.
A Water Department spokesperson said it wasn’t clear if anyone ever requested a study.