Protect Your Home From Spring Thaw Flooding

springthaw2During early-season snow thaws, the ground is often still frozen and storm sewer inlets may still be covered in snow and ice. Throw in heavy spring rains, and the risk for flooding increases dramatically. The Village is offering the following suggestions to residents on how to address the situation.

  • Know if you live in a flood prone area. Check with the Village's Public Works Department, (630) 980-2020, to see if your property is within the designated floodplain. These areas are shown on the Federal Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs.) The FIRMs show the flood hazard areas within the Village.
  • Carry flood insurance. Normal homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage. If your home is located with the floodplain on a FIRM, you must carry flood insurance if you have a home mortgage. In fact, most flood damage and claims paid are for properties that are not indicated on the FIRMs. Even if you rent you may obtain insurance for your possessions. For information, please contact your insurance agent or call the National Flood Insurance Program at (800) 638-6620 or visit the FEMA website.
  • Keep an eye on drainage. Check on the storm sewer inlet on your street, yard, culvert or ditch to make sure it is not blocked by snow, ice, dirt or debris.
  • Protect your property. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clean and functioning properly. Make sure land, sidewalks and patios drain away and not toward the house. Mud-jack or replace concrete surfaces that drain towards the house. Fill-in low lying areas next to the house with dirt, but to not cause the water to run into your neighbors yard or the street. Do not use mulch or landscaping stone to do this, because they are too porous. Check your foundation and have cracks repaired.
  • Make sure your sump pump is functioning and is adequately sized. If you have a battery back-up sump pump be sure the battery is good. It is illegal for sump pumps to discharge into the sanitary sewer system. To report illegal discharges, contact the Public Works Department at (630) 671-2360.
  • Keep possessions off the basement floor and on shelves. Place washing machines and dryers on wooden platforms so that they are high enough off the floor to prevent water from entering them. Be sure to move important papers, family memorabilia and heirlooms to a higher level of the house to prevent them from getting wet.
  • Protect yourself and your family. DO NOT drive through a flooded area. Your car may stall, float or be washed away if the water is two feet or deeper.
  • Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are sure the electricity is turned off. Call Commonwealth Edison, (800) 334-7661, to turn off the power. Stay well away from downed power lines outdoors as electricity can travel through wet ground. Call ComEd if you see downed power lines.
  • If your home floods, it is important to clean up as soon as possible with disinfectants. Finally, remember to help your neighbors, especially those who are elderly or have disabilities.