In the summer of ’96, northeastern Illinois experienced the worst torrential rainfall in years and Naperville certainly was no exception.
More than ten inches fell within hours flooding roughly 7,500 homes. City officials estimated personal property damage to total at least $30-million.
The governor at the time, Jim Edgar, declared 13 counties across the state disaster areas and put the National Guard on alert. In Naperville, the DuPage River rose well beyond the River Walk, posing a danger for residents.
City workers and volunteers joined forces to sandbag the downtown area while 75 trucks were deployed to help haul away flood-damaged materials.
But for many homeowners, it was too late and were left to their own devices cleaning up the aftermath of a flooded basement.
To this day, the flood of 1996 remains one of the most significant weather events to hit our city.
Since then, officials took steps to reduce flooding, such as improvements to the Hobson West subdivision and additional lining to the storm and sanitation sewage systems throughout town.