Chicago, IL – Even though Chicago is not in the path of hurricanes, it can still be hit with catastrophic floods.

Yes, the city has elaborate zoning laws, and yes, the city also has a Deep Tunnel to collect storm water. However, the Chicago Sun Times reports that despite being way out of the line of fire of hurricanes, Chicago is still very much at risk for disastrous floods.

In fact, Chicago has already had terrible floods in numerous neighborhoods and suburbs, which include: Albany Park, Blue Island, Calumet City, Chatham, Midlothian, Riverdale, and Robbins.

A study led by Harriet Festing in 2014, titled “The Prevalence and Cost of Urban Flooding,” revealed there were over 180,000 insurance claims filed throughout 97 percent of Cook County between 2007-2011. Most of the flood insurance claims were small and averaged under $5,000, with the greatest flood damage happening in economically disadvantaged communities.

The Chicago Sun Times further explains that a flood can cause damage to your basement. Some of this damage includes: electrical wiring damage, mold, and sewer backup. Even with the horrible damages floodis bring, only a small number of Chicago residents are covered with a flood insurance policy.

Chicago was built on a swamp, and the city just paved over the environment instead of adapting to it. Because of the rooftops, highways, parking lots, and other watertight surfaces, excess water has no where to go. This causes it to collect on streets, in homes, and flow into sewers.

Additionally, Chicago’s combined sewer and storm-runoff system means water treatment plants are flooded during heavy rains, and as a result releases untreated sewage into Lake Michigan.

According to the most recent National Climate Assessment, climate change will cause a 20 percent increase in “extreme rainfall events” in the Midwest throughout the next couple of decades, in addition to the 20 percent increase from the past 30 years. This will bring more declining water quality, flooding, soil erosion, and home damage.

The Chicago Sun Times further says that Chicago is already experiencing major flooding and major damage to businesses, communities, and homes. If you live in Chicago, here is what you need to know about flooding in your area:

What will cause my basement to flood? 

Heavy rains that can dump two inches or more have recently been hitting Chicago. This volume can easily overwhelm local sewers. Once the sewer mains fill up, additional water can push into basements through drains.

How do I prepare for a flood?

Make sure you have the following on-hand:

  • Use sandbags to prevent water from entering your home.
  • Keep flood water from backing up into the drains in your home by installing check-valves in your plumbing.
  • Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy covers flooding.

Will an insurance claims attorney in Chicago help?

If your home has flood damage and you need to file an insurance claim, insurance companies may try to lowball you with their settlement offer. has experienced Illinois insurance claims lawyers who will make sure you don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve. Contact our Chicago insurance claims attorneys today to learn more information.