Lakefront homes left flooded, muddy after high waves and stormy weather

Unprecedented flooding in Rogers Park brought an emergency plumber to a condo complex in the 1200 block of West Sherwin Avenue on Sunday.

Frank McCoy said, as of 4 p.m., six hours after he arrived, he still hadn’t been able to get inside the garage that was completely under water, saying it was too dangerous.

“They’ve got the electrical and everything in there. I’m not going in,” McCoy said.

Down a flight of stairs just off the lobby, we were able to see the deep water, and a resident opened the door to the garage where you could see it was completely dark and what appeared to be a car in there. We were told a Tesla was among the cars now under seven feet of water in that garage.

“I’m sure they’re totalled. There’s no question about that. It’s horrible,” said James Walker, resident of the building.

Strong winds brought on by Saturday’s storm churned up high, forceful waves that battered the lakefront and everything in its path, like the bike path at Ohio Street in Chicago. In Evanston, cleanup hadn’t started yet on a broken fence at Elliott Park.

“I’ve seen waves pretty strong before but not coming up that close. Scary? A little bit. I felt like I was chasing a hurricane or something,” said Christy McCain of Evanston.

A similar scene in the South Shore neighborhood. 72nd street just off South Shore Drive was among the worst. Twenty four hours later, this is it. The water is gone, but a lot of mud remains.“The city has been out most of this morning and quite a bit last night, literally pushing mud and debris down the street,” said Cathy Mican of South Shore.

Wild waves tore apart a three story house belonging to Cathy Mican’s neighbor, smashing windows and damaging their concrete entryway. A board up crew was here yesterday but couldn’t stay.

“It was amazingly dangerous. They couldn’t do any work. So there were several windows on the lake side of the house that had broken through. So all the waves were coming into the house. It was this morning 24 hours later before they could actually board up the windows,” said Mican.