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F@&K the Flood!
Posted 4/24/2013 12:53:00 PM

I know I’m not the only one who had a house full of water as a result of the recent flooding. Nearly 48 counties in Illinois have already been declared state disaster areas. Let’s face it, this sucks! F@&K the Flood!

I grew up here in the NW suburbs of Chicago, spending many a Sunday out at grandma’s ridiculously small cottage up in Fox Lake. None of us in the area are strangers to wet basements, especially in recent years, but I don’t think any of us could have expected or prepared for the disaster that we now face.

These days, I have my own small cottage right on the Fox River. My friends quickly nicknamed it the Patcave. In some ways I’m lucky that my place is just above the flood plane. With 180 degree views of the river, I have been watching this all unfold from a birds eye view. It’s not good my friend, not good at all.

Yesterday evening, I took my kayak out right before Sunset. While the river is officially closed, and for damn good reasons, I still decided to take a little voyage and see how my neighbors and friends are doing in this giant mess of a nightmare. With a pair of hip waders strapped to the top of the kayak, along with a “just in case” fishing poll, I made my way upstream through what was once my neighbors back yards and patios, around swing sets and garages, through once marshy swamps and fields, North into the flow, into the wreckage.

As you can imagine, and most likely have seen on the news, our neighbors are experiencing the full loss of their homes and belongings. I saw families in tears as they tried to haul what they thought might be savable from the mud Slurpee that has become their living room. More than once I heard voices declare “That’s it, were out of here” as the sound drifted over the expanse of water. I don’t blame them.

As the news rightfully focuses on the tragedies in Boston and Texas, my thoughts are here with our families and friends, our neighbors, our communities. I see people who have lost everything, whole homes destroyed, buried under the torrent of river currents. Most of these people never had a chance to remove even their extra clothes, much less family heirlooms, kids toys, furniture, it’s all gone.

During the night of the storm I spent hours outside digging make shift ditches to try and redirect as much of the storm run off as I could. A very poorly designed and out of date Lake County pond overflow system up the road from me sent thousands of gallons of water a minute right down my road and into my front door, through my whole downstairs, and then out the garage back on its way down to the river. Luckily, due to the issue in the past, I had flood proofed all of my storage belongings. You never get it all though and I now have thousands of dollars of damage. Lake County has been receiving complaints on the drainage issue for over 20 years and has never done anything about it. Thanks guys.

There isn't much good news when it comes to natural disasters. So, I’ll say on the up-side, there are resources being available to those of us who have been hit by this storm.

The Red Cross has set up pickup locations with 5000 free flood damage clean up kits. Here is a link to the current locations: http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Clean-up-Kit-Distribution-Sites-Open-Today-Across-Chicago-Region

The Red Cross also has a pretty cool home repair guide for flood damage: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340135_file_cont333_lang0_150.pdf

The Salvation Army, along with the Red Cross, have set up emergency shelters with food and places to stay.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced Tuesday that Illinois businesses and individuals will have until Oct. 31 to file tax returns that were due on or after April 19.

Chicago Mayor Rahm “The Ram” Emanuel announced a one-mile long underground pipeline on the Northwest Side of Chicago aimed at alleviate flooding is in the works, and construction could start as early as next year

It’s been amazing to see everybody helping each other out through this hard time. I’ve personally seen people leave their own wrecked homes just to go and help others in the same position. Neighbors, members of our military, volunteers, rescue agencies, all helping out with sand bags, delivering warm meals, and stocking up the shelters.

It might seem hard, but in the end the rivers will recede, the basements will dry, drywall can be replaced. F@&K the Flood! We will be ok. Cool people take care of each other.

By
Patrick Capone

Posted By: Pat Capone  
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