Urban Flooding Baseline Project

Center for Neighborhood Technology is developing a visualized map of flooding indicators and urban flooding locations in the Calumet region of Cook County.

The goals of the project are to:

  1. Clearly define the problem of urban flooding in the Calumet region to help regional stormwater planning efforts.
  2. Construct an urban flooding risk dashboard for municipal and community leaders to guide municipal actions and support community advocacy.
  3. Create a data collection process in which community members collect photos of where flooding occurs to support local fundraising efforts for solutions.

What is Urban Flooding?

Urban flooding occurs when rain overwhelms drainage systems and waterways in built-up and more densely populated environment, and makes its way into the basements, yards, and streets of homes, businesses, and other structures, disrupting lives and economic activity.

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The map will include publicly available data to identify flooding risk, as well as information from a resident-run data collection process. CNT, with help from SSMMA, will roll out a data collection process with an advisory group consisting of community members interested in urban flooding issues. The data collection process (from March 2021- May 2022) will employ community members to take geographically tagged photos of externally flooded areas within certain South Suburban Communities, (Dixmoor, Dolton, Harvey, Phoenix, Posen, Riverdale, and parts of unincorporated Thornton Township). These photos will be submitted to an online app titled CNT Flood Photo App with additional information about the time of flooding, estimated depth, and description of how it impacts residents.

Share Your Flooding Story

CNT is creating a tool to analyze flooding risk. The purpose of the tool is to get the public, elected officials, and municipal to staff to continue conversations on how and where to invest in solutions to reduce flooding and seepage. We are asking for submissions of your stories and photos to be included in a web-based tool to share people's personal experiences of how seepage and flooding impacts them. We are interested in your seepage/flooding experiences since 2010. Please go to this form to share 1 - 3 of your experiences of seepage/flooding in the Calumet region and how it affects your life (referred to as flood story in the survey).

If you have any questions about this project, please reach out to Cyatharine Alias (calias@cnt.org) for more information.