Winnetka is considering widening the scope of its flood control program to include spending more than $8 million in six residential areas where flooding has occurred during severe rainstorms, officials said.
Trustees took up the issue during a recent study session in which they were given the results of a flood risk reduction assessment study by the engineering firm of Baxter & Woodman Inc. and recommendations to mitigate flood damage in areas not included in previous assessments completed by Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd.
If the village signs off on including the six residential areas in its storm water master plan, it would be in addition to tentative plans for construction of a $35 million storm water tunnel system under Willow Road to relieve chronic flooding problems.
The six areas experience standing water and overland flow in streets and yards. This "nuisance flooding" most commonly results in sewer back-ups, basement seepage and sump pump failures, although several cases of overland flow into structures have been reported, staff said.
"We're just looking at some previously-unstudied drainage areas to try and round out our long-range storm water plan to get an understanding of what kind of projects we might be looking at in the future," said Steven Saunders, public works director.
"That's a big part of it — street flooding, yard flooding," he added. "There are some homes that reported flooding in the areas from the last big storm in 2011, but not quite as widespread or severe as some of the areas we looked at first."
The six areas include:
•Single-family residences and Nick Corwin Park, which is owned by the Winnetka Park District, and is bounded roughly by Grove Street on the east, Tower Road on the south, the lots south of Ivy Lane on the north and the east diversion ditch on the west.
•A section of downtown Winnetka between the Union Pacific Railroad on the east, Chatfield Road on the south, Euclid Avenue on the west and Scott Avenue on the north.
•A residential neighborhood bounded by Tower Road on the north, Forestway Drive on the west and south and the Winnetka Golf Club on the east.
•Single-family residences bounded roughly by Tower Road on the north, Hibbard Road on the west, Pine Street on the south, and Ardsley Road and Burr Avenue on the east.
•A neighborhood of single-family homes in the southwest corner of the village, bounded by Hill Road on the south, Hibbard Road on the west, Lindenwood Drive on the north and Apple Tree Road on the east.
•An area along the Union Pacific Railroad that includes offices and stores, multi- and single-family dwellings, the Winnetka commuter rail station and the North Shore Country Day School.
Trustees agreed that work in those areas should be done. But they were divided on whether it should be done in conjunction with the Willow Road tunnel project or could be delayed due to the $8.1 million additional cost.
"This can be something for future consideration," said Trustee Richard Kates. "I think we have to put this on the back burner."
But other trustees said it would be unfair to address flooding in one area of the village with construction of the Willow Road tunnel project while delaying action in other areas.
"Where do you draw the line between what you're going to do and what you're not going to do?" said Trustee Arthur Braun. "I cannot justify at this point why certain things should be excluded."
Trustees asked staff to gather data on what it would mean to include the six areas and report back at the Jan. 8 meeting.
"It's a lot to get our arms around in one session tonight," said Village President Jessica Tucker. "This is a first look. We don't need to make a hard and fast decision tonight."