Climatologists predict rainstorms will become heavier and more frequent in Northeastern Illinois, but many Chicagoans don’t need mathematical models to know flooding is a problem.
Azarina Cerkic, 37, was living in the 5100 block of North Bernard Street in 2008, when a record-setting storm dropped more than 6.5 inches of rain in one day. (That record has since been broken.) The North Branch of the Chicago River rushed over its banks in Albany Park, dumping more than seven feet of water into Cerkic’s basement.
“There was so much water it flipped my washer and dryer right over, effortlessly,” she said. “And those are some seriously heavy things.”
Cerkic and her husband had moved to the neighborhood from nearby Portage Park only three months earlier. Worried about the rising water, she said she called 311 on Friday and was told it would be fine.