Shorewood looks to clear debris from April flooding
By Clare Walters Correspondent October 10, 2013 12:44PM
Updated: November 15, 2013 6:04AM
The last evidence of April’s flooding of the DuPage River soon will be removed.
The Shorewood village board on Tuesday approved a resolution aimed at clearing debris accumulated along the river at the expense of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which already has agreed to pay for it. The cost is about $50,000.
Village Administrator Roger Barrowman said debris that traveled downstream during the April flooding accumulated along Valencia Drive where the river jogs to the east.
“There’s a pile of debris about 12-feet high and 40-feet wide,” he said. “It’s become a big dam.”
The trash pile includes everything from fences to hot tubs, Barrowman said.
The flooding was the worst Shorewood had seen since record-setting flooding in 1996. Unlike 1996, there was minimal property damage in April despite the river reaching over 11 feet. Will County was declared a disaster area.
In the village board’s action, the flood debris lodged along the riverbank was formally declared a nuisance because of its location on residential property and due to the potential to dislodge and cause additional flooding or damage areas downstream.
Since the debris is on private property, the village board also moved to indemnify FEMA against any damages during removal.
“It’s on private property, but we’ve got the OK from the owners to go in there,” Barrowman said.
Mayor Rick Chapman said he wanted to thank the village employees who have been working on the effort for many months.
“All that debris came down the river and decide to park in Shorewood,” he said. “It looks like the Hoover Dam. It definitely will cause problems back there if we don’t get it out of there.”
Barrowman said he’s not yet sure if the village will complete the work or if it will be contracted out. No timeline was stated for the project.