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Geese and debris line the Lake Michigan shoreline at Chicago's 31st Street beach during a wind advisory

Geese and debris line the Lake Michigan shoreline at Chicago’s 31st Street beach during a wind advisory, with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph causing high battering waves and lakefront flooding on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

Charles Rex Arbogast

Geese and debris line the Lake Michigan shoreline at Chicago's 31st Street beach during a wind advisory

Geese and debris line the Lake Michigan shoreline at Chicago’s 31st Street beach during a wind advisory, with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph causing high battering waves and lakefront flooding on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

Charles Rex Arbogast

Extreme precipitation is testing Chicago's water system

Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District hopes to create a “Deep Tunnel,” an expansive underground system built to store billions of gallons of water during heavy rainfall to combat extreme weather due to climate change. Host: Melba Lara; Reporter: Indira Khera

Geese and debris line the Lake Michigan shoreline at Chicago’s 31st Street beach during a wind advisory, with wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph causing high battering waves and lakefront flooding on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

Charles Rex Arbogast

   

Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is responsible for stormwater and wastewater management throughout Cook County.

One of its largest projects has been the so-called “Deep Tunnel,” – an expansive underground system built to store billions of gallons of water during heavy rainfall. But as extreme precipitation driven by climate change becomes more common – like the supercell rainstorm that hit Chicago in September– officials are thinking about how these systems might need to adapt.

WBEZ’s Melba Lara spoke with Kevin Fitzpatrick, Assistant Director of Engineering at the District.

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