RainReady Midlothian Plan (Chicago suburb flood management plan)

The Village of Midlothian - a suburb of Chicago, Illinois - has faced repetitive and severe flooding for decades. Residents are affected both by overbank flooding from nearby creeks and from overland flooding as a result of urban runoff from impervious surfaces. The Center for Neighborhood Technology worked with the Village of Midlothian, the community group Floodlothian Midlothian, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create the RainReady Midlothian Plan that was adopted in January 2016. The coordinated action plan to increase community resilience to flooding in Midlothian, brings flood prevention infrastructure into downtown enhancement and economic development planning.

This resource was featured in the February 26, 2016, ASAP Newsletter.

"Residents of Midlothian, IL, have been dealing with flooding of the tributaries that run through their town for years, but the recent increase in frequency and severity of flood incidents (spurred by a changing climate) motivated community leaders to develop a plan to prevent future urban flooding. The community group Floodlothian Midlothian worked with the Center for Neighborhood Technology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create a RainReady Midlothian Plan that pairs flood prevention infrastructure with downtown beautification and economic development. The plan was adopted January, and has both internal and external support – $1.3 million in outside funds has already been secured, with an additional $8.3 million expected to be approved."

Recommended improvements made in this plan are organized according to scale: the individual property, the street and neighborhood, the creek, and the village as a whole. Together, these strategies create a holistic plan to make Midlothian a rain-ready community.

In addition to these strategies, the plan also recommends that Midlothian commit to a fundamental shift in the patterns of urban development that have caused flooding in the village. This includes protective ordinances for improved stormwater management on private property, transportation infrastructure retrofits, and green infrastructure installations across the village.

In a 2015 RainReady survey, more than 72% of residents in Midlothian reported flooding on their property. Flood damages were cited as a common cause of foreclosures and abandoned properties in the village, particularly among homeowners adjacent to Natalie Creek. Flood victims reported feelings of isolation and anxiety associated with flooding, sleeplessness on rainy nights from fear of basement flooding, and general frustration with the perceived inaction of municipal leaders (RainReady Midlothian: Interim Report, 2015).

The RainReady Midlothian plan has both internal and external support – $1.3 million in outside funds has already been secured, with an additional $8.3 million expected to be approved. Additional funding received from Cook County’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program is supporting the expansion of the RainReady Community program to six of Midlothian’s neighbors in the Chicago Southland: Blue Island, Calumet City, Calumet Park, Dolton, Riverdale, and Robbins.

 

Publication Date: January 2016

Related Organizations:

  • Village of Midlothian, Chicago, Illinois
  • Floodlothian Midlothian
  • Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • RainReady

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  • Plans (other)

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