Possible Solutions to DuPage River Flooding Presented

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently had a chance to hear from the public about plans to solve flooding issues along the DuPage River.

After years of major storm events resulting in overbank flooding along the DuPage River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took to studying the area.

“Well I’m a fifth generation Lisle resident and I’ve just seen my family and friends get devastated by this water, time and time again. And I’m excited that somebody is doing something, a study of some sort, but I just hope it’s beneficial in some way,” explained Stephen Winz.

After two years of research, the army corps created what they are calling a “tentatively selected plan” to address the issues that have put 900,000 residents at risk.

“So our ultimate solution is based on an analysis that we conducted to identify all the alternatives that are technically feasible, economically justified, and environmentally acceptable,” said Erin Maloney, a civil engineer and planner for the army corps.

The army corps presented the plan at two recent public meetings to hear resident comments and concerns.

“The county and the village have tried to do this project twice before and that failed because they couldn’t get all the homeowners along the river to give them access to their property,” commented Lisle resident Craig Damian. “What is your solution going to be for this?”

After working with DuPage and Will County storm water management, the army corps found an option that fit their standards. This included repairing and elevating the Lisle Levee and several nonstructural options in other areas along the watershed.

“So the nonstructural options include elevating or flood-proofing of buildings,” said Maloney. “It also could include buying out or relocating of those structures that are in flood-prone areas. So we’re recommending nonstructural solutions at about 40 structures right now, watershed-wide so both in DuPage and Will County.”

But many residents voiced concerns toward this solution, worried about the Lisle Levee being at the forefront of the plan.

“Specifically speaking to the East branch of the DuPage River it’s important because the entire community- that’s basically the entire Downtown Lisle,” added Winz. “I mean we’re an 1/8 of a mile east of that, and ultimately if this isn’t addressed properly this could end up being a problem that could reach up to main street properties.”

The army corps is taking public input through August 30 and will use all comments in an updated finalized report, to come out next summer.

The full DuPage River feasibility study from can be viewed on the U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers, Chicago District’s website.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.