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City Authorizes Funds to Provide Emergency Assistance to Residents Affected by Storm

The City of Highland Park approved the use of reserve funds to cover costs for flood-related special refuse pickups and gas line replacement certification. In addition, the City authorized a fee waiver for permits related to damage caused as a result of flooding to heating, hot water systems, and natural gas lines within the home. North Shore Gas requires a contractor to certify gas line replacement before they restore gas service to homes. All homes on Taylor Avenue were impacted. Unforeseen City emergencies are one of the approved uses of reserve funds under the City’s Statement of Financial Policy.

“The recent flood severely impacted a significant number of our residents and businesses. The widespread devastation led the City Council to authorize this emergency assistance to residents,” stated Mayor Nancy Rotering. “In addition to our focus on recovery, we are in touch with County, State and Federal officials to identify, evaluate and work towards implementing flood-damage-reduction measures going forward. It will not be easy, but this effort has to be a priority for the region.”

In the aftermath of last week’s severe flooding event, over two dozen Highland Park streets were rendered impassable and thousands of residents were affected. A number of residents needed to evacuate their homes due to public safety risks, and in the case of one entire street with 40 homes, a gas main needed to be replaced and expedited only after the flood waters receded.

Communities throughout Lake County were hit with significant rainfall, beginning Tuesday night and concluding Wednesday afternoon. Five to eight inches of rain fell, resulting in major road closures, power outages, and street flooding. The Skokie River overflowed causing low-lying areas in the community to flood. A proclamation declaring a State of Emergency was signed late Wednesday night by Lake County.

Mayor Nancy R. Rotering issued a formal request on Friday, July 14, 2017 to Lake County and Federal officials requesting assistance for flood recovery efforts and future remediation. The letter can be found here. The City is meeting with representatives of FEMA, as well as Lake County and Cook County storm water management to discuss additional efforts that can be taken to support residents impacted by the flood, and to discuss a long-term solution to help reduce future flood devastation.

Residents are encouraged to complete Lake County’s Public Form for Reporting Flood Damage. The information will be shared with State and Federal emergency authorities as additional flood recovery assistance is sought for Lake County communities affected by the floods. Please share this link with those individuals impacted by the flood: https://goo.gl/5bG3pU.

The City will continue to issue communication alerts via its electronic newsletter, website and social media. Residents are encouraged to sign up for the City eNews by visiting www.cityhpil.com/signup.  For additional information please contact the City Manager’s Office at 847.926.1000.

Storm Recovery Efforts - What is the City doing?  
Public Works crews in cooperation with the City Manager's, Police and Fire Departments worked around the clock cleared inlets, conducted traffic control, and responded to public safety concerns including helping people from their homes.  All City departments continue to address resident calls and send out communication alerts via our website, eNews, and social media. 

The City approved the use of reserve funds to cover costs for flood-related special refuse pickups and gas line replacement certification. In addition, the City authorized a fee waiver for permits related to damage caused as a result of flooding to heating, hot water systems, and natural gas lines within the home. Fee waivers do not apply for renovations of finished basements or any other work as a result of flooding. North Shore Gas requires a contractor to certify gas line replacement before they restore gas service to the homes impacted on Taylor Avenue.  

The City of Highland Park, along with other Lake County communities, will be meeting with FEMA representatives on Tuesday, July 18 to discuss flood recovery efforts and future stormwater management in response to the severe flooding that has resulted in a State of Emergency

Storm Recovery Contact Information 

City Public Works Dept. 847.432.0807
City After-Hours 847.432.7730
ComEd 800.334.7661
North Shore Gas 866.556.6004
Lake County Health Dept. 847.377.8000
AT&T Landline Service 800.288.2020
Lakeshore Recycling Systems      773.685.8811
Emergency Assistance  911
 
Find helpful flood information on the Lake County Emergency Management Agency website

Health Risks Related to Floodwater Contact
The Lake County Health Department has provided important health and safety information to protect individuals in the event of a flood. Read their comprehensive tips about how to stay safe when and after flooding has occurred

How Do I Dispose of Items Damaged by the Flood?
The City is providing for free curbside service through Lakeshore Recycling Systems. If you have items that need to be removed due to flood damage, please call Lakeshore Recycling at 773.685.8811 to schedule a free pickup on one of the following days, July 19, July 26, or August 2.  Items should be placed curbside for collection. If you require a dumpster, please call LRS for pricing. No yard waste, electronics or white goods, such as washing machines and refrigerators, are included with the free pickup.  If you have already scheduled a pickup, the free collection will be honored. 

Why Did We Flood?
Lake County communities experienced more than 4 inches of rain in a short duration, with larger rainfall totals upstream along the Skokie River. The flooding resulted from the amount of rainfall that fell on the Skokie River watershed. As the Skokie River rises it reduces the water carrying capacity of the entire storm sewer system and causes the streets to flood. It is simply too much rain in too short a time. Now that the river is elevated, additional rain will have an intensified effect.

Street Closure Information
For updated road conditions, please visit Lake County PASSAGE at  www.lakecountypassage.com.

Sandbags Available
Sandbags are now available at the Highland Park Recycling Center, 1180 Half Day Road, on a first come, first served basis in the parking lot immediately north of the gate. Sandbags can be picked up anytime.

Flood Cleanup Tool Kits
The City has received a limited number of flood cleanup tool kits from Lake County. Residents interested in obtaining a kit can call the City's Public Works Department during office hours at 847.432.0807.