Glenview flood relief for area east of Harms Road

GLENVIEW — Glenview trustees approved two contracts Tuesday night to reduce rain-driven flooding in the residential area east of Harms Road from East Lake Avenue to Central Road.

The large flood control measure is expected to help 1,150 homeowners with new pumping stations and backup generators at 815 Harms Road and Cunliff Park.

In addition, the second project will construct storm sewer pipes and rebuild Harms Road.

Both projects were budgeted for a total of $4.5 million and the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has contributed $6 million.

Storm sewers east of Harms Road are directly impacted by the elevation of water flowing into the main stem of the North Branch of the Chicago River, according to village reports. The river is located in the Cook County Forest Preserve District to the west.

When it reaches flood stage, storm sewers can be 10 feet underwater, resulting in river water flowing back into local systems and making storm sewers unable to drain until the river recedes.

Two heavy rainstorms in 2013 prompted the action.

After an April 18 storm burst dropped 4.5 inches, floodwaters stood on village roads up to 36 hours.

The village received 92 calls for sewer backups and flooded basements, 180 for flooded streets and 23 for flooded yards. On June 26, Glenview residents again woke up to heavy flooding after the village received 4 inches of rain.

By morning, the Glenview Fire Department responded to 55 calls for flooding and vehicle rescues.

Both downpours created heavy flooding east of Harms Road from Wilmette Avenue south to Central Road and Cunliff Park.

The projects have a spring-summer 2015 deadline, and travel on Harms Road between Wilmette Avenue and Glenview Road will be impacted for several weeks during construction.

“When completed, this project will re-establish the local level of service that the storm sewer system originally provided when it was built,” said Village Manager Todd Hileman in a release.

The old storm sewers were built in the 1960s.

Village public works officials and contracted engineers held an informational meeting March 20 at the Glenview Police Department, 2500 E. Lake Ave.

Glenview resident Sima Browne is a member of the Glenview Stormwater Task Force, which was formed in 2008 after storm-related floods.

She has lived in her home just east of Hackney’s restaurant for 45 years.

About every two years or more, she said, her basement and others east of Harms Road would flood or have seepage under doors and through foundations.

But lately, heavy storm water flooding has become a real issue in east Glenview, Browne said at the meeting.

“The village has never had funding like this $6 million from the MWRD. Because of the significant amount of money, we don’t have to do this piecemeal,” she said.

“But the village has been extremely responsive, which is very important to us,” she said referring to Glenview’s recent flood-control efforts.

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