Flooding concerns rise as snow, ice melt across Chicago area

Chicagoans were able to shed their parkas and head outdoors for a rare taste of spring on Tuesday. But the warm weather is also causing flood concerns.

After a brutal month of cold and snow, it feels like the Chicago area busted out of winter jail.

"Just thank God that it’s melting, melting fast. It is and I’m grateful for that as long as it doesn’t cause too many issues," one woman said.

Indeed, with more than 3 inches of water locked up in all that snow and ice, and ground that’s still frozen like concrete, all that snowmelt has to go somewhere.

That’s the job of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which says for now the big melt is slow and steady.

"So far were able to handle the flow. This is a deal. We’re melting the snow with a moderate temperature and no rainfall, actually. So we’re keeping up with the water as it’s coming in," said MWRD Executive Director Brian Perkovich.

The worst case scenario, he says, is a sudden spike in temperatures combined with rain.

"We’re watching the weather closely and we’re very fortunate so far. It’s looking dry and kind of like this. So we’re great," Perkovich said.

The city says you can help prevent flooding around your own home by shoveling snow away from walls and making sure your drainpipes and street drains are clear and uncovered.


But not everyone’s enjoying the thaw.

FOX 32 found Betty Mihai trying to save her snowman in Little Italy.

"It was taller than my husband. And then because of the warm, he thawed, and now I have to clean up around him, to fix him up for a little bit because he’s going to melt anyway with this weather," she said.

And another warm day means you may also have to say goodbye to dibs.