Flood veterans wait for waters to recede


Evergreen Village resident Ronald Morales remembers the flood last year. In fact, anyone who has lived in Evergreen Village Mobile Park Home for over 12 months can remember the flood from last year.

Twelve-year-old Morales and the rest of Evergreen Village are now dealing with another flood. The flood has forced families within the complex to evacuate. Morales has lived with his family in Evergreen Village for four years.

“I remember when it flooded last year, but this year seems way worse,” Morales said, a student at Sycamore Middle School.

Morales and his family are staying at St. John’s Church in Sycamore, along with many other residents of the mobile home park. Cots are lined up throughout the gymnasium of the church, where all evacuees sleep. However, his family is taking it in stride.

“We were kind of surprised that it flooded again. But we obviously couldn’t stay there,” Morales said.

Morales holds the responsibility of looking after his siblings, since he is the oldest of four. His two sisters, Eunice and Noelia, and his brother, Samuel, look up to him when adversity strikes.

“[My siblings] were concerned at first because our house was all flooded. But I just let them know that everything was going to be okay and that we would be home soon,” Morales said.

Amy Bradley has worked with Red Cross for two years. Red Cross is helping with relief efforts at the church and Bradley couldn’t be more impressed with how smoothly everything has gone.

“The kids have been behaving and the residents have been extremely helpful,” Bradley said. “They have been cleaning, sweeping floors and helping with the maintenance of the facility. They’ve been tremendous.”

Morales also has been satisfied with the help of Red Cross and the living conditions. However, he does miss the benefits of his home.

“I definitely miss my bed and the privacy of my room,” said Morales, who finds doing homework difficult at times with kids running around the church.

Donations for flood victims can be made at the church and Red Cross volunteers are needed badly, Bradley said.

DeKalb County has a mitigation project in line for another flooding situation. The project would get the mobile homes to a landscape less susceptible to flooding. However, Paul Miller, planning director of DeKalb County, warns residents that it’s not for sure.

“Every mitigation project in Illinois draws from the 15 percent of disaster relief funds administered by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency,” Miller said. “Evergreen Village is one possible project. But the price tag is high enough that IEMA is not yet committed to doing this mitigation project.”

Many wonder what’s to come. “The bottom line is we’re waiting and so are the residents of Evergreen Village,” Miller said.

Which means the Morales’ must wait. Because, as Miller put it, it’s not a question of “if” the village floods again, it’s a question of “when.”