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Bits of others’ lives float past local flood site

Waters from Fox River meander through RichardsSubdivisioff Duncan Avenue unincorporated East Dundee. April 18 2013  | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media

Waters from Fox River meander through Richardson Subdivision off of Duncan Avenue in unincorporated East Dundee. April 18, 2013 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 20, 2013 7:46PM



DUNDEE TWP. — After decades of frequent flooding, the residents of low-lying Richardson subdivision — along Duncan Avenue just south of East Dundee — know the drill when the Fox River rises.

But resident Lee Barrett said it’s sad to see the debris from upstream family’s lives floating past.

“I see lawn furniture, plastic play sets, and the kind of stuff people leave out on their decks floating by, along with tree limbs,” Barrett said Thursday morning following hours of torrential rains that hit the area.

The debris likely came from low-lying areas in and just south of Algonquin, where the river was reported to 2.3 feet above flood stage Thursday morning; a crest of 4.4 feet above flood stage was not expected until Saturday.

An engineer, Barrett has lived in Richardson for many years and has studied the Fox River flooding scientifically through the years as part of the subdivision’s political lobbying to do something about it.

Barrett, a former Kane County Board member, said people who live in the lowest homes in Richardson’s know exactly what to do by now. Aware that flooding was likely, they parked their cars up high, close to Duncan Avenue overnight, or have moved out temporarily.

“I have a four-wheel-drive Honda, and my home is in a higher section, so I was able to get out today,” he said. “All the streets are covered, but the deepest I had to drive through was about 2 feet deep.”

Barrett said the river in the Dundee area rose about 3 inches an hour between about 5 and 7 a.m. Thursday.

“The release at the McHenry Dam is about 6,500 cubic feet a second,” he said, referring to the dam that controls flow out of the Chain O’ Lakes into the lower Fox River. “The rule of thumb is that we can handle 5,000 to 5,500 cubic feet, but more than 6,000 feet and the river can’t keep that within its banks.”



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