Standing in the middle of Park Avenue, I gazed west toward the park and police station. The area looked like a war zone. At least three giant plastic playhouses were floating in several feet of water, having escaped from nearby backyards on Colfax. Some lawn furniture and kids’ toys and a lot of mulch was floating on top of the water. There were a few whirlpools violently pulling water and debris down into the street drains. These watery funnels were beyond dangerous — if you stood next to them, you might get sucked into the sewer along with the debris! Park Avenue Park (the snow hill park and detention basin) was completely underwater. The rain had come for so long and hit so hard that there was nowhere for the water to go.
Many of you will recognize this scene from the flood of April 18, 2013, when metro Chicago was devastated by storms that dumped over 8 inches of water in a couple of days. Clarendon Hills and the surrounding areas also experienced a lot of damage. The area along Richmond and Park Avenues was the epicenter of the flood, where Westmont’s water poured over the detention area as it flowed east. There were other hard-hit areas around town, but this area was the worst. As you might imagine, there was a lot of talk about it afterward … mostly about how to avoid the next one.
Lately, it seems to me that either we moved to Seattle without me noticing, or it’s been the soggiest year that I can remember since then. The grass around town is emerald green. If you have a sprinkling system installed, I hope it has a rain sensor on it!
Sadly, the Saturday night Daisy Days concert was shut down because rain pounded the downtown area — including the rides. (Well, the carnies kept the rides going until someone noticed that there was a lot of electricity feeding them!) Seeing kids on the giant slide in the pouring rain was quite a show. It’s good to be a kid and actually enjoy the rain! Most of us don’t enjoy the rain nearly as much as children do. Of course, children don’t have to worry about the status of the sump pump!
Another good thing that came from the recent rain is that it kept a lot of potentially rowdy fans inside after the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship. There were tornado warnings and flash flood warnings, but that didn’t stop many Chicagoans from going to the home game and celebrating afterward.
Whenever we get a hard rain, I think back to the April 2013 downpour as a “checkpoint.” It’s a good standard to measure against. “Exactly how bad is bad?” Since then, like many people in town, I’m a little on-edge when it rains hard or for a long period time. For instance, the recent storms that we experienced brought a whopping 3-plus inches in a 24-hour period. If it had kept raining, it might have been similar to the 2013 storms.
Thankfully, this year’s rains didn’t bring the devastation of that year, when the park was littered with debris. After the water finally settled, one family came by to claim their furniture and another dragged one of the playhouses back home. The other two were left stranded in the park for awhile. I think they finally got claimed by a pickup truck on Amnesty Day.
Mike is a Clarendon Hills
resident; husband; Indian Princes; Indian Guide Dad; a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker. Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around the area. It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings. He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting residents and even a little about history
. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.