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Ducks Swimming On Graves; Families Frustrated Over Cemetery Flooding

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A suburban cemetery is underwater.

Family members coming to pay respects to their ancestors finding a dozen of their burial plots flooded. They turned to CBS 2 for answers.

CBS 2's Chris Tye has more from the Silverman and Weiss Cemetery in Forest Park.

It's happened for years, and still no fix. For those buried along the western edge of the cemetery, resting in peace doesn't come easy.

"I'm the only one left now. My brothers, sisters and aunts and uncles are all gone. And there's one grave there waiting for me," said Dorothy Bernstein.

They're all buried at the 140-year-old Silverman and Weiss Cemetery. What's waiting for any visitor to the cemetery now are ducks, floating not on a reflection pond, but on the lake several feet deep that's formed over every one of Dorothy's ancestors.

"There are actually ducks swimming on the graves. That has got to be the saddest damn thing ever, isn't it," asked Bernstein.

It's been many nights, three years worth at least, that this problem has continued to bubble up.

Three years ago, CBS 2 was there, showing the very same problem that just hasn't been fixed. But the billing department is open for business and operates like clockwork.

"They've been sending me bills to weed, cut the grass," said Berstein.

This is all while her ancestors rest underground and underwater. Silverman and Weiss management didn't respond to calls from CBS 2 for answers. But one worker who didn't want his face on camera said recent rain was the enemy.

Despite expanded ponding, his bosses told him not to show up to work.

"At least pump some of it out, so the stones are out and the ducks don't swim," said the worker.

The ducks can swim, but the relatives can't mourn. Boxed out by mother nature and a cemetery operation providing neither answers nor peace of mind for those planning to spend eternity in their care.

"Like they don't give a damn. They don't care," she said.

A cemetery spokesperson said it does not have a solution other than draining the water into the sewer system. And the city told the cemetery not to do that, saying, that rising waters from the nearby Des Plaines River are to blame, but the cemetery doesn't have an expert for this sort of thing.

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