Flooding concerns Limestone resident

May 17, 2019

LIMESTONE — Limestone Township resident Greg Dorsey says much of his property has flooded after heavy rainstorms over the last couple years.

He points to the widening of nearby Illinois Route 17 as the source of the problem.

The road’s elevation is higher, he said, causing his property to “totally flood” at times, which is what happened after recent rainstorms.

“This happens every time we have a significant rain,” said Dorsey, a retired state trooper. “This affects multiple properties. The most affected is mine.”

For the last two decades, he has lived just north of Route 17 on Pipeline Road, formally known as 2750W Road. The flooding began after the highway widening about three years ago, he said.

Dorsey noted workers put in a new culvert in the area last year, but the flooding has continued.

“I’m not an engineer, but I know water doesn’t run uphill. Putting in a new culvert will not solve the problem,” he said.

Illinois Route 17 is maintained by the state; Pipeline is a Kankakee County road.

County engineer Mark Rogers said the state and county worked to improve drainage in that area last year. But he said the outlet for the water going north and east would be the railroad. He recommended Dorsey contact the private railroad company.

“The culvert underneath the railroad tracks appears to be blocked,” Rogers said.

Tom Hufnagel, an operations engineer for the state Department of Transportation, said he thought the railroad company cleaned its culvert last year.

“This is well off of our right-of-way. I’m sure all the water is headed to the Kankakee River one way or another. We’ve done what we can,” he said.

He added, “We’ve had a heck of a lot of rain recently. We’ve tried to make improvements, but when you have an overwhelming amount of rain, it looks like we have accomplished nothing.”

Dorsey said he didn’t understand why the government wouldn’t solve the problem that it created.

“Standing in my driveway, it’s clear the culverts are uphill both ways now,” he said.