Heavy rain leads to flooding
Four inches of rain fell in Champaign between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday, said Public Works Director Dennis Schmidt.
By 11 a.m., most of the flooding had receded on the Phinney Branch and Copper Slough, but the viaduct at Washington remained a big problem, he said.
“The trend now is mostly in basements and low areas,” said Schmidt, who had to work on his own street. Crescent Drive.
Probably the deepest area of flooding was the Healey Street Detention Basin, which had 40 feet of water — because the system was working.
In the past, Green and Springfield streets near the University of Illinois campus were among the hardest hit by heavy rains, but improvements in engineering there including the basin and park improvements handling the flow, Schmidt said.
“All the Boneyard improvements worked perfectly,” he said.
Not so north of University, Schmidt added. “We’re still having problems there,” notably at the Washington Street viaduct and the intersection of Market and Columbia.The intersection of Bradley Avenue and McKinley Street was still deeply flooded after 3 p.m. The intersection of Bradley Avenue and Market Street was also still a problem more than two hours after the rain stopped.
The area needs engineering improvements and studies have begun. The public works department intends to “have a conversation with the council” about beginning the work in 2016, he said.
There were 17 workers and two dispatchers called in for Champaign, and Schmidt himself was out cleaning out obstructions with his wife Margie by 6 a.m..