Homeowner spends Sunday cleaning mess from flash flooding Saturday

Flash flooding in portions of our area affected several streets and basements Saturday with some communities getting up to seven inches of rain. One homeowner in West Frankfort, IL is still cleaning up after about 4.5 inches fell there.    

Valerie Reed has lived in her West Frankfort, IL home for the last 16 years, but says the last four have been the worst for flooding.

“The water began to rise so quickly because the drains were not working and there are three within a block radius of our home. The water just kept rising, rising, and rising. We’ll eventually it started seeping into my home,” Reed said.

She says water surrounded her home Saturday.

“Now I’ve lost all my landscaping. All my hard work that I put in this summer and you know, I know that’s a petty thing because people in Louisiana have lost their homes but I’m proud of mine and I want to keep it,” Reed said.

She says she doesn’t want to leave West Frankfort, but worries about future rains.

“I’ve established roots, but we’ve got to have something done with our drainage system,” Reed said.

About 6 inches of water got into her basement.

“If I hadn’t been home it would’ve been a real problem,” Reed said.

She and her sister used gallon buckets to scoop water out of it.

“I’ve contacted the street department and the sewer department knows about it. They are probably tired of hearing from me but I want some answers you know if there something I can do to help,” Reed said.

In order to help prevent her home and neighborhood from flooding the next time it rains.

We reached out to the West Frankfort Illinois Street Commissioner Sunday afternoon about the drainage systems. We have not heard back as of Sunday evening.

West Frankfort’s flash flooding is an example of what this summer’s weather can feel like. For some, it seems when it rains, it’s a lot and when it’s hot it feels really hot.

Weather authority Trent Okerson explained to us Sunday that this summer’s been only about 2 or 3 degrees hotter on average than normal but globally it’s the warmest year on record.

Trent says we may feel hotter this summer because there’s more humidity, and more moisture in the atmosphere leads to an increase in the frequency of heavy downpours like the ones we’ve seen this summer.

“Something else to consider is that we get into something called positive feedback loop and that looks something like this, when you have a lot of rain that puts more moisture in the ground, it puts more moisture in the atmosphere. When you have more moisture in the atmosphere, more moisture in the ground, you get more in the way of rain. More rain leads to more moisture and that loop kind of continues to feed on itself like what we’ve seen this summer. So, it’s a pattern that’s probably not going to be changing anytime,” Okerson said.

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