Flood awareness information
This page is intended to discuss flooding in the Village of Glenview and provide important information about how you can protect yourself and your property from the risks of flood waters.
The Village is implementing a variety of Capital Improvement projects and flood protection activities in an effort to reduce flooding impacts on Village residents and business owners. As a result of these actions, the Village has joined the Community Rating System, which will result in reduced flood insurance premiums.
For more information, contact the Engineering Division of the Community Development Department at (847) 904-4410.
Flood hazard areas
Properties in the Village of Glenview are subject to flooding from overbank river flooding, sanitary sewer backup and local drainage.
Flooding has also been an historic issue in parts of Glenview and other Chicago area communities not immediately adjacent to rivers. In these areas, heavy clay soils, flat topography and a lack of well-defined drainage paths can contribute to poor drainage conditions. Recent severe storm events, in August 2007 and September 2008, resulted in overbank flooding along both the West and Middle Forks of the North Branch of the Chicago River, greatly impacting homes, businesses and other properties in the community.
Past projects, such as construction of the Techny Basin Reservoir have resulted in additional flood water storage along the river. The Village is continuing to work with other agencies to implement additional regional projects.
Several areas in the Village have been identified as areas that are susceptible to sanitary sewer backups into basements. The Village is continuing to evaluate and consider capital projects to reduce the rate and volume of rainfall-related inflow and infiltration into its public sanitary sewer system. Currently, the Village is offering one-time cost-sharing assistance to residents that convert to an overhead sanitary sewer at their home. Full details about this program are available here on the Village website.
Many areas of the Village developed prior to the early 1970s were built without storm water detention and other currently accepted engineering standards. Many of these areas are subject to local drainage issues which may result in damage to structures and limit vehicle access. Assistance is available to residents for local drainage issues. Please contact the Community Development Department at (847) 904-4340 for more information.
The Village has several flood-mapping tools available for residents to view. These tools include the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps and other maps created by the Village, showing areas of documented flooding or other drainage issues. If you would like to find out if your property is in the mapped floodplain, contact the Community Development Department at (847) 904-4340. Additional mapping information is available on the Village’s Stormwater Task Force page.
The following common sense guidelines can help you from the dangers of flooding:
- Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in cars than anywhere else. Do not drive around barriers.
- Do not walk through flowing water. Currents can be deceptive. Six inches of water can knock you off your feet.
- Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. If your house is about to be flooded, turn off the power at the service box. Electrical current can travel through water. Electrocution is the second leading cause of death during floods.
- Be alert to gas leaks. Turn off the gas to your house before it floods. If you smell gas, report it to Nicor Gas at 1-888-642-6748. Do not use candles, lanterns or open flames if you smell gas or are unsure if your gas has been shut off.
- Keep children away from the flood waters, ditches, culverts and storm drains. Flood waters can carry unimaginable items that have been dislodged. Culverts may suck smaller people into them rendering them helpless.
- Look out for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their home may seek shelter in yours.
- Do not use gas engines, such as generators, or charcoal fires indoors during power outages. Carbon monoxide exhaust can pose serious health hazards.
- Clean everything that has been wet. Flood water will be contaminated with sewage and other chemicals which pose severe health threats.
If you do not have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. Flood insurance is only available to those participating communities in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Because of our floodplain management programs that attempt to protect us from the multiple flooding hazards, Glenview is part of the NFIP and, thus, residents are able to obtain flood insurance. Additionally, because the Village participates in FEMA’s CRS program, flood insurance premiums are discounted.
Be sure to check your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage. Usually these policies cover the building structure, but not the contents. Contents coverage can also be obtained by asking. There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance coverage becomes effective. Plan ahead; do not wait until a flood is predicted before purchasing flood insurance.
If you are building inside the floodplain, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory if using a federally regulated/insured bank for a loan.
Property protection measure
If your property is susceptible to flooding, here are some of the many flood damage reduction measures you can employ:
- Watertight seals can be applied to brick and block walls to protect against low-level flooding.
- Utilities, such as heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and other major appliances can be elevated to higher floors in the structure or on raised platforms.
- Temporary measures, such as moving furniture and other valuables to higher floors or sandbagging exterior openings, will also help.
- Elevating or relocating the entire structure may also be a feasible option.
Water solutions project
This website stems from a larger effort seeking to understand and provide solutions for managing stormwater at a small scale (i.e. individual properties and small groups of properties) in the Villages of Winnetka, Glenview, and Niles, Illinois. For more information, click here.
Floodplain permit requirements
A Village Development Permit is required for all development within the 100-year floodplain (construction of buildings, as well as filling, excavation, fence and other related work). Applications must be made prior to doing any work in a floodplain area. Contact the Community Development Department at (847) 904-4340 to receive all the information in order to properly perform work in the floodplain. You may report any illegal development activities to the above number as well.
The NFIP requires that if the cost of building improvements or to repair damages (from any cause) to a building exceeds 50 percent of the building’s market value (excluding land value), the entire building must be brought up to current floodplain management standards. Building improvements include exterior and interior remodeling, rehabilitation, additions and repair and reconstruction projects. Additionally, the cost of currently planned improvements will be added to the cost of previously made improvements and compared to the existing market value to determine if the improvements exceed 50 percent of the structure’s value. Contact the Community Development Department at (847) 904-4340 for further information.
Drainage system maintenance
As simple as it may sound, simply keeping smaller ditches and streams free of debris can dramatically improve the run-off capacity of low-lying areas, as well as greatly reduce the occurrence of blockage that significantly contributes to flooding.
It is illegal to dump materials into a required waterway and violators may be fined. If you see someone in the act of dumping or see debris in one of our watercourses, please contact the Village at (847) 657-3030.
Flood warning system
Many times, flooding along the river in Glenview can be predicted in advance, giving ample warning for preparation and evacuation. In the event of a flash flood due a large rain event, however, there may be no notice of the situation until it is upon you, giving you limited time to execute your plan.
During an emergency, the 911 communication center serves as a source of intelligence for the EOC staff and can disseminate warnings to the public. The Fire/Police dispatch center contains the siren activation transmitter. A back-up transmitter is located at the back up dispatch center at Fire Station 6.
Depending on the type of emergency and time available to make warning, notifications may be made in several ways. These include, but are not limited to:
- Siren system
- Cable and local TV
- Village website
- Public radio (WBBM-780 AM, WGN-720 AM)
- Public address system of Police and Fire
- Door to door by Police, Fire, Public Works, EMA volunteers
- Village Email Notification System
- Reverse 911
Real-time precipitation data, water level of the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River and water level in the Techny Basin Reservoir is available here on the Village website.
Natural and beneficial functions
Under most conditions, the North Branch of the Chicago River and the Des Plaines River are assets to the Village of Glenview, creating large natural corridors that provide open space, parks, wildlife habitat and preserves and drainage outlets for the community. These areas provide a wide variety of environmental and physical benefits, such as stormwater quality improvements and nutrient recycling. They also provide cultural and quality of life benefits, such as offering recreational opportunities and scenic vistas. It is important that these natural resources be maintained for us and for future generations.
For more information, please visit our Natural Resources page.
Documents and background information