October 10, 2019 -- The City of Highland Park has called upon State and Federal elected officials to convene a public meeting to discuss efforts, plans, and strategies for a regional flood mitigation plan. The Regional Flood Mitigation Meeting will take place on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 7 PM at the Highland Park County Club, 1201 Park Avenue West. Representatives from Congressman Schneider's Office, Senator Morrison, and representatives from neighboring communities will be in attendance.
In 2018, the City of Highland Park took the lead to request a regional plan to mitigate the major flooding which impacts our area along the Skokie River and Middle Fork River. This past July, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded their study and found that the economic benefits of constructing stormwater storage basins at the Highland Park Country Club and the Half Day Road Prairie are extremely unlikely to outweigh the flood mitigation costs.
This conclusion is extremely disappointing as the City and neighboring communities along these rivers are still in need of a solution to address flooding in our communities. Our region continues to experience increased storm intensity and frequency which without flood mitigation results in ongoing risks to the health, safety, and welfare of Highland Park residents.
We believe an expansion of the study should be pursued, such as identifying potential storage basins in Lake and Cook Counties, dredging the rivers, and other potential viable solutions to address the more frequent flooding events.
Locally, the City of Highland Park has allocated funds to improve infrastructure; has a robust storm sewer maintenance program; offers a cost-sharing program to assist homeowners with flood prevention efforts; and continues to work with the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission to pursue FEMA’s voluntary buyout program for eligible homeowners. While the City is doing whatever it can to address the ongoing problem, the City’s efforts alone are not enough to address the concern which impacts the region.
If unable to attend the Regional Flood Mitigation Meeting on October 21, residents are asked to contact State and Federal officials to urge them to address this large scale problem and to commit funding and efforts to flood mitigation that will bring peace of mind and security to residents who have been impacted by flooding. The City will continue to work tirelessly on this effort until solutions are implemented.
Learn more about flooding in Highland Park here.