Flooded basement or backyard?

Does your home or business suffer from a wet basement or flooded backyard? You’re not alone!  Whether or live in Cook County IL, Flooded basementor somewhere else in the nation, we want to hear your story. We’re aiming to get 200 stories, along with data on the cost and stress it caused you, to help make the case for action at state and national level. Your information on costs of stormwater damage in your basement and backyard will also be used to help us design the nation’s first wet weather ‘Wetrofit’ service.

Over the past year, CNT has interviewed Cook County residents who have experienced flooding. Several of them have shared their stories with CNT. Overall the estimated cost of damage and repairs ranged from $1,000 to $330,000. Here are some of their stories:

Gregory Ehrendreich owns a unit in a condo building in the northwest side and has had problems with basement flooding. “Flooding has damaged the basement unit (currently being rented out by its owners who have moved out of the building) as well as causing sump-pump failures requiring repair of one and replacement of the other” he said. Michelle Gilliam’s home has flooded three times in the last five years. She estimates that the flooding has cost her more than $15,000 in damages to her home and another $30,000 in lost wages and lost valuables.

Mark Nilson wants to protect his home from flood damage. “We saw evidence of small foundational leaks while going through our “walk through” before purchase of our home. We want to know now what we can do to prevent an event” he said. Diane Tecic is a new resident in her building. She hasn’t experienced flooding yet, but she knows her neighbors have and her residence shows signs of past flood damage.

Scott DeBlaze has had issues with flooding three times in the last five years. “The basement sewer lines back up and flood the basement. We now have everything in plastic tubs off the ground to protect against this” he reports. Christopher Kowal lost the use of part of the property he rents and spent hours cleaning up damage from flooding, which has affected his home five times in the last five years.

Glen Szczypka lives in a 1920s bungalow and has dealt with flooding 15 times in the last five years. He estimates that flooding has caused about $2,000 in damage to his property and is saving up to install a $6,000 overhead sewer system. Carmen Vidal-Hallett disconnected her downspout and installed a rain garden to prevent flooding in her home. She also installed a one-way valve on the main sewer pipe in the basement and deconstructed the original concrete side walkway into permeable pavers.

During the July 2011 hundred-year storm, Peter Robinson’s family lost carpeting, drywall and bathroom vanity as well as some furniture. “We had installed a sump pump years ago and that could not even stop summer 2011′s flooding. It seems like several neighbors have back flow valves now that have helped them and hurt us. Not sure how that is legal,” he said. Jeremiah Boland works at a nonprofit organization on the southwest side of Chicago. He says flooding has caused “significant damage to our historic building. Nothing seems to help. We have undertaken many projects to deal with it without much success.

If you have experience flooding and would like to share your story with us, please fill out this survey. Your story will give us the data we need to make the case for action.