Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Brookfield's Rainwater Woes, Flooding & Don't Drive Through Deep Water!!!

City of Brookfield, Weather

We're not out of the woods yet with the storms and flooding. As I am writing this at 2pm, it feels and looks like it could let lose again. Some areas in Brookfield experienced serious flooding yesterday. I noticed today the creek next to Pilgrim Road across from Wirth Park had roaring white caps! Some places were still under water today too: Pilgrim Road was closed by Pilgrim Park Middle School. If it rains heavily again today, there will be more. (Monday road closure update)

I saw this back-ho at Kinsey Park Pond just before 2pm  today. Yesterday at around 7:30pm the pond was up over the banks and completely flooding Elm Grove Road. I think this was due to the debris washed down from the woods creek and possibly blocking the pond outlet drain? 

Please be aware that the road conditions and area flooding do cause problems besides wet basements.

DO NOT drive through deep water. It can cause serious damage to your vehicle--even blow your engine!

Most cars today have their air intakes quite low. My son checked mine and found the air intake in the lower part of the front bumper. (No making waves for me!) Even less than 1 foot of water can cause serious damage. Gone are the days when the carburetor and air intake sat on top of the engine. 

If your car stalls out going through deep water, often you are better off to NOT try to start it. In fact today we need to go look at someone's car that stalled out trying to traverse just 9" or so of water yesterday. It sure did not seem that deep at the time.

I am no mechanic of course, but water sucked into an engine causes serious damage. I think my son called the condition hydro-locked.

Tom Grisa sent around an email to the aldermen about flooding--his own neighborhood was flooded! Here are a few excerpts: 

Obviously we have had a torrential downpour in Brookfield.  We are doing the best we can to deal with the myriad of problems caused by this massive storm.  Flooding exists in numerous locations. 

According to our rain gauges at the plant we had 5.8 inches of rain from 4:30 pm to midnight.  That is a higher rate of rain than occurred in the 1998 flood (8 inches of rain in 12 hours).  Roads are closed in many areas, streets underwater, creeks over their banks, yards flooded, basement flooded, sump pumps not able to keep up, flooded basements draining down the floor drain into the sanitary sewer causing basement backups elsewhere, etc.

Our treatment plant normally handles 7 million gallons per day (MGD). Our treatment plant is designed to treat a maximum of 50 MGD.  Last night we peaked at 66 MGD.  That is 50% higher than we have ever had
before since the plant was upgraded in 1996-1999 (previous record 44 MGD).  I don't know how it compares to the 1998 flows.  Our Riverview interceptor (along the Fox River) normally operates at 2 MGD and was flowing at 28 MGD for a time.

We have placed bypass pumps out in several locations, and some have reduced the backups, but others are still pumping.

Power outages also were prevalent in many areas resulting in sump pumps not working and floor drains taking the flow into the sanitary sewer -thus the backups.

We have had crews out yesterday afternoon and throughout the night.  We ran out of barricades for closing roads per the Policeman I spoke with this morning.  Crews continue to work today to alleviate things as best
they can.  There just isn't much we can do with the incredible amount of rain we had.  But they are doing what they can.  There is just no where for the water to go.

We continue to pump sanitary sewers, clean off inlets, etc.  Inlets near my house this morning at 5 am were completely covered with mulch from people's gardens and from the Lamplighter Park.  That obviously prevents
the area from draining.  I waded into the water a bit (only where I knew it was safe) and cleared some of the inlets and the big one for the pond.  But I do not advocate anyone from wading into water as it can be extremely dangerous.

If you have a basement backup emergency, please contact the treatment plant 782-0199, or if it is street flooding or overland flooding call highway at 782-5029. 



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