It’s a fantastic day today – the autumn air is cool and crisp, and I am enjoying a stunning panoramic view of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline from my desk in the Gold Coast Office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the John Hancock Center. As is often the case with Mother Nature, today’s brilliant blue sky belies the drama we experienced this past weekend.

After two days of non-stop heavy rain, including a record breaking 6.64 inches of rain that fell on Saturday, many of my friends and real estate clients reported flooded basements and/or roof leaks in their homes. As if that wasn’t enough, O’Hare airport was temporarily closed, wreaking havoc for travelers.

Although my home remained dry (thankfully), my weekend was turned upside down by impassable roads, cancelled appointments, and a flooded open house. My inconveniences were minor, however, when compared to what this “Storm of the Century” dumped on other parts of Chicago.

Although it has been a couple days since the rain has stopped, the challenges are not over yet. Just this morning, one of the members of my residential real estate team was late to work because his commuter train had to idle through standing water up to the top of the train’s wheels (which had damaged many of the track’s signals as well). He likened the experience to being on a water ride at Disney World – only in slow motion.

Thankfully, the upcoming week should continue to be a dry one, and this should allow those affected by the rain and flooding to start the cleanup. (If that group happens to include you, the Chicago Tribune has a list of guidelines for safely cleaning and inspecting your home).

As rough as this weekend was for Chicago, we fared much better than the Gulf Coast did under Hurricane Ike. The scope of the devastation in communities like Galveston, Texas where some residents no longer have homes is pretty hard to fathom. Thank goodness The Windy City never truly lives up to its name.


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