May 19 2014 - On April 18, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) declared a state of emergency after an epic deluge left much of the Chicago area under water.
“After several days of rain, an overnight deluge overwhelmed Chicago’s underground labyrinth of aging sewers and giant tunnels Thursday, forcing a noxious mix of sewage and stormwater into local waterways and Lake Michigan. The surge of murky, debris-strewn water so overloaded the system that sewage began to back up in basements and geysers of wastewater shot out of several sewer manholes,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
“The only way to get around is by kayak or canoe,” one resident told a local CBS affiliate. Major roads disappeared under water. Some residents had to evacuate their homes. A massive sinkhole swallowed three cars after the intense rain caused a water main to break.
“This is a new kind of storm associated with climate change,” Tom LaPorte, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Water Management, told Medill Reports on day two of the April flood. Extreme flooding is part of a pattern that has emerged in the last two decades, according to Illinois State climatologist Jim Angel.
Now a major insurance company is suing Chicago-area municipal governments saying they knew of the risks posed by climate change and should have been better prepared. read more>>>