CHICAGO (CBS) — Families in Joliet call it a terrifying ordeal.
The sight of water rushing into their homes as rain poured down this weekend, leaving them with thousands of dollars in losses.
CBS 2’s Steven Graves explains, they’re now demanding a flooding fix from the neighborhood developer and the city.
On Tuesday, all was dry in western Joliet’s Hunters Ridge nieghborhood. But images of flooding from last weekend still haunt the Mendoza family.
“Just extremely emotional at the time and terrifying for our well being,” said homeowner Elvia Mendoza
Water from heavy rains on Sunday came streaming from across ridge road into their back yard, and then burst windows in the basement.
“And our son noticed and heard all of the explosions of the windows and he started hyperventilating,” Mendoza said.
About six feet of water filled the house damaging everything in the basement. It’s the same for many neighbors along Cahokia Street, like Jason Garcia.
“Children’s clothes, freezer, a refrigerator stocked up before COVID-19. Just anything you could think of,” Garcia said.
He and his neighbors said this should have been avoided, with better planning and communication.
“The builder didn’t disclose that this area flooded because of all the extra water we get from the farms,” Garcia added.
Both families just moved into their homes last year.
“Four or five houses in one neighborhood is not an act of god. It’s something that wasn’t built right,” said Garcia.
Neighbors point to this concrete funnel as the problem. It’s supposed to help drain water from the farm across the street into a creek.
Families also want answers from the city that they said, at the very least, approved the plan.
“Basically our house stands in the middle of a river,” Mendoza said.
The huge headache for the Mendoza’s is that insurance only covers a fraction of the $20,000 in losses. But the most valuable loss can’t have a price tag.
“Our safety,” Mendoza said.
CBS 2 spoke with Joliet’s director of public works who placed most responsibility on the builder. He said he will reach out to re-evaluate the flood mitigation plan, but said he can’t promise an immediate or quick fix.
The builder, Lennar Homes, issued a statement on the matter:
“Lennar is committed to doing right by our homeowners affected by record-breaking rainfall. In the short term, we are offering free temporary housing while we work with the City of Joliet and our engineers to evaluate the situation. We are working with the City of Joliet to develop a permanent drainage solution to divert flows from adjacent farmland.”