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Cary looks to alleviate flood woes

Michael Thinnes talks on the phone Wednesday as he looks around his basement at his home in Crystal Lake after cleaning up damage from flooding that occurred due to heavy rains last week. Thinnes said that sewage backed through the pipes and into his basement.
Michael Thinnes talks on the phone Wednesday as he looks around his basement at his home in Crystal Lake after cleaning up damage from flooding that occurred due to heavy rains last week. Thinnes said that sewage backed through the pipes and into his basement.

CARY – Hoping to solve the flooding issues in the neighborhood around Crest and Sunset drives, village officials have begun looking into possible funding sources for a potential capital improvement project for the area.

Village Administrator Chris Clark said an improvement to alleviate flooding in the area, especially during major storm events, would require creating more space for storm water detention.

However, that would require land acquisition in the area, Clark said.

Clark said some options included acquiring right-of-way from ComEd.

A study done in 2011 by the village offered a preliminary cost estimate of at least $100,000, which Clark said was too general of a number. He estimated a project in the area would cost multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“There have been significant improvements that have been discussed, but not funded, partly because the cost would probably require outside agency funds to get it done,” Clark said.

“Bottom line is we need to re-evaluate options, assess costs and look at funding opportunities as well,” Clark added.

Clark said 20 to 25 houses are in the area, with eight houses in the worst position.

“That specific neighborhood needs some significant work and expense to remedy a problem that affects relatively speaking a small number of homes that were heavily impacted,” Clark added.

Federal hazard mitigation grants would require a 25 percent local match, and the village would need a project ready to go, Clark said.

Lining up funding and land acquisition could take a couple of years, Clark said. Actual construction on a project probably would last one construction season, he added.

“I am convinced the village will continue to follow up and take the issue seriously,” Clark said.

Residents who live in the Crest and Sunset drives area have dealt with flooding multiple times since 2007, and have said water rushes down the hill and into the lower levels of their houses. During the June 26 storm, some residents reported having 4 feet of water inside their homes.

The area probably won’t qualify for FEMA help because there was no disaster declaration in the county as there was after the April storm. June’s storm was a localized event to Cary, McHenry and Crystal Lake, Director of Public Works Cris Papierniak said.

In the short term, people might be able to qualify for Small Business Administration disaster loans to help with the cleanup.

The village is working with Crystal Lake to see whether people can qualify.

The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and most private nonprofit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets that were damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster, according to its website.

“In the long run, we continue to work with McHenry County emergency management, as for possible funding opportunities as we continue to do analysis on flooding zones,” Clark said.

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