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Flooding victim: Water came in like ‘The Blob’

Jeff Stefanek 6400 block 84th Street Burbank lost about $15000 recent home improvements when 11 inches rainwater flooded his home

Jeff Stefanek, of the 6400 block of 84th Street in Burbank, lost about $15,000 in recent home improvements when 11 inches of rainwater flooded his home that sits on a slab. | Steve Metsch/Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 24, 2014 2:10AM



Jeff and Joanna Stefanek were awakened by a neighbor at their door at 3 a.m. Friday, telling him that water was rapidly nearing their Burbank home in the 6400 block of West 84th Street.

Jeff is appreciative of the visit, as water soon began seeping in under the door and through the bases of walls in the one-story home that was built on a concrete slab.

“It was like the movie ‘The Blob.’ It just came in slowly and kept spreading. There was nothing we could do,” Joanna said.

Flooding was rampant throughout Oak Lawn, Burbank and Bridgeview in the wake of overnight thunderstorms. The Stefaneks got hit hard, but they were not alone.

Not that that was any solace. They dashed around the house, moving high-priced electronics such as a sound system and TV to higher ground atop sofas and tables. Jeff tried to save improvements such as new doors and woodwork he has installed since the last bout of flooding.

He was unable to “and now we have about $15,000 in damage,” he said.

“It flooded in 2010 and we gutted the house. It flooded again in 2013. It was like taking five steps back. And this is the second time it flooded this year,” he said.

His cellphone got wet “and is drying off in a box of rice right now,” he said.

He tried to remove new doors recently installed, but could not.

He glanced south down Narragansett Avenue and saw Burbank firefighters busy pumping out a street a block away. There was no telling when they would get to the Stefaneks’ block. He thinks the village should do more to address flooding problems that seem to happen whenever there are huge storms.

It could be worse. A neighbor whose sump pump failed had four feet of water in his basement, he said.



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