DANVERS, Ill. (WMBD) — Heavy rains once again triggered cleanup to remedy issues from rainwater in McLean County.
Many parts of the county had at least two inches of rain in a three-hour window. In Danvers and the western portion of the county, people saw upward of eight inches Sunday night into Monday morning.
Tuesday, neighbors in Danvers were still cleaning up after the storms. Michael Ballard has lived in the village since the 70s and said this is the first time he’s dealt with water.
“This is the first amount of rain that we’ve ever got water in our basement here. Been here 14 years,” Ballard said.
Ballard said he had about six inches of water in his basement, but other neighbors weren’t as lucky. Some even had nearly a foot of water inside.
Jake Reedy, who lives next door to Ballard, said it’s the second time in a month and a half that he’s had to clean out the basement’s belongings.
“When we saw the rain just pouring down in sheets, we decided just to head to the basement because we know that we had a potential to get water,” Reeder said.
Reeder said water was up to his ankles in the basement, but everything inside the basement was a total loss.
“We tried to get our little pump set up and shop-vac ready, but it just kind of overtook everything so for the next couple hours, it just came into our house, [and] through the walls and drain as well,” Reeder said.
Just down the street from Reeder and Ballard’s homes, The Vault Bar and Grill was closed on Monday as employees dealt with the mess from water in its basement. Owner Scott Hamilton said it was nothing like he has ever seen.
“There was roads closed, police and fire blocking intersections, and by the time I got here, there was about two and a half to three feet of water in the basement,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he needed a generator for power and believes both the village and himself can do more to prevent it from happening again.
“From what I’ve heard, most of the problems stem from the village not being able to keep up with the storm sewers … [but] we had 8.5 inches of rain in three hours, [so] that’s kind of expected,” Hamilton said. “I think there are some things that could be done on my part and their part, but I’m not blaming the city whatsoever. I mean, I’ve been here 14 years and never seen roads covered with water.”
Hamilton said most everything touched by water was a total loss including a washer, dryer, and hot water heater. But it could’ve been a lot worse.
“Everything that was under water level I threw away, including full cases of beer, napkins, toiletries, stuff like that,” Hamilton said.
Now village neighbors are pitching in and helping one another recover from the devastation.
“People donated fans and dehumidifiers and we’ve loaned some to each neighbor along here, so we try to help each other out,” Ballard said.
Many other residents told WMBD a flood insurance plan would not cover them along their street because it’s not technically in a flood plain, and it’s considered an “act of God”.