Infrastructure Problems

A number of infrastructure problems have come to light due to all the rain.

News Flash: Chicago’s Lower Waker Drive is close to the level of the river. (That’s one of the reasons there is an Upper Waker Drive.) Chicago Weather: Recent Storms Break May Record For Rainfall.

Flooding also overwhelmed Lower Wacker Drive, prompting Fire Department crews to use inflatable boats to help rescue at least six homeless people who were left stranded Sunday night.

The flooding on Lower Wacker Drive also has left Willis Tower without power since early Monday morning, after a ComEd substation was knocked out. Crews were still working to pump out floodwater from the basement of the iconic skyscraper on Tuesday. ComEd said they are not yet able to estimate when power will be restored.

Cars parked in the sub-streets have been destroyed by flooding.

Willis Tower (previously known as Sears Tower) is still without electricity, though it should be restored over the weekend.

Another dam is in danger of failing. This one in Virginia. More than a dozen homes in Roanoke being evacuated due to potential dam failure.

Roanoke City officials say that the Spring Valley Dam located near Lake Dr. is in danger of failing, which would cause flooding in the area surrounding the dam.

The video at the link seems to show the outflow from the spillway. Definitely a potential to cause erosion, and the level of the lake behind the dam is in danger of overtopping the weir. It may have overtopped the weir briefly, but there is no sign of erosion.

Joliet, IL has also had trouble with flooding. Joliet’s Route 53 Closed, Road Damaged From Floods.

That part of Route 53 through Joliet is actually the old Route 66 through that part of the country. So that infrastructure is probably as old as the photos make it look. And viaducts always have problems with flooding. It is easier to dig out a trench for the road, than to build a hill for the train. They always flood, and occasionally a semitrailer will get stuck under the railroad bridge. (Don’t rely on Google Maps to tell you where Route 66 is. They are confused, though you could search for Route 66 raceway in Joliet.)

There are other stories of drownings, and flooding, but not so much tied to infrastructure.

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