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Mayors Plan To Declare Southland A Disaster Area After Flooding

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The southwest Chicago suburbs are dealing with the aftermath of a deluge of rainwater Friday night. Flossmoor saw more than seven inches of rain in just 12 hours.

Neighbors who live near Butterfield Creek say it's normally about a foot deep, but Saturday it was five to six feet deep -- almost a full day after all the rain.

James Tiernan and Nick Didenko used rakes to clear the street in their neighborhood.

"We're trying to clear the streets, so we can get our vehicles out and so other people can get their vehicles out," said Tiernan.

They're some of many in the Southland who got a lot more  rain than they bargained for.

The Flossmoor Fire Department had to rescue about eight people who were trapped in their cars due to rising water, but officials say no one had to be taken to the hospital.

Residents in the so-called "low country flood plains" are used to a little spring flooding now and then but say this was different.

"We've never had this kind of rain before," said Tiernan. "It's come up about five to six more feet, which is a lot of water."

And the water raises other questions.

"It's not the temperature," said Tiernan. "It's what's in there, right? Who knows what's in there."

Alex Wright, who works downtown, doesn't want to know.

"It smells like sewage, honestly," he said.

He's joining the rest of the block in cleaning up the mess inside of the business where he works, which saw a foot of water. It took the door down with it.

Now they're trying to figure out what's next.

"Inside the floor is covered in dirt, mud," Wright said. "The file cabinets are flooded with water. The wood is destroyed, warped. It looks like a disaster in here. It's horrible."

The flooding is not isolated to Flossmoor. Those heavy rains affected a lot of the Southland.

The mayor said he's teaming up with other south suburb mayors to officially declare it a disaster area and apply for state and federal funding.

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