Flooding in Gurnee
The most dangerous flood hazard area in Gurnee is in the low lying area around the Des Plaines River and its tributaries. Flooding associated with the river threatens public safety and property and triggers the Village of Gurnee Emergency Operations Plan. If you have not checked the location of your home and its relationship to the flood hazard area on the flood insurance rate map (FIRM) please take the time to do so. If your property is shown to be in or close to a flood hazard area please feel free to contact the Village for guidance on how to protect yourself and your property.
Isolated flooding of roadways and yards may occur during heavy rain events if the stormwater management system becomes overwhelmed. During these events roadways and swales are designed to flood to protect the adjoining homes. This type of flooding should pose no threat to property.
Basements are a common feature of homes in the Gurnee area and carry specific flooding risk. Being below grade, basements need to have a drainage system to remove underground water at all times. Historically gravity draining tiles were installed around homes to remove ground water. All newer basement installations are required to have a sump pump ejection system to remove ground water. A gravity sewer backup or sump pump failure will likely leading to basement flooding and residents are encouraged to install backup systems to provide additional protection.
The Village cannot prevent flooding but we take measures to minimize the risk to the public safety and property. All new development is permitted in accordance with the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance and the Village of Gurnee participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.
If you are in the floodplain or have experienced a flood, drainage or sewer backup problem you may contact the Village to review the circumstance of the problem and obtain recommendations for remedial action to stop or minimize future flooding damage. These services are free to all residents and business in the Village of Gurnee. All flooding related questions can be directed to the Engineering Division at 847.599.7550.
The Village of Gurnee mantains an emailing list for information about flooding in the Gurnee area. You can sign up for the flood information mailing list on the mailing list subscriptions page
The Village of Gurnee also participates in the Community Rating System, which gives property owners a 5% to 20% discount on flood insurance premiums.
Flooding limits shown on the Federal Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) are determined by estimating the elevation above sea level for a specific flood event such as the 1% flood (also called a 100 year flood). Structures built in the vicinity of flood hazard areas may have an elevation certificate prepared that measures the elevation above sea level of the structure for comparison against the floodplain elevation. The Engineering Division maintains copies of elevation certificates if they are provided by the property owner. Please contact the Engineering Division at 847.599.7550 to see if an elevation certificate is available for a specific property.
Important Documents and Resources
Download the Flood Elevation Map to help determine if you are at future risk.
Flood Mitigation Plan (Adopted 12/3/01)
Village of Gurnee Flood Plan Executive Summary (Adopted 12/3/01)
Watershed Development Ordinance: https://lakecountyil.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3445
Six ways to protect your home: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/fema_homeowners-guide-to-retrofitting_guide.pdf
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): https://www.floodsmart.gov/
FEMA Community Rating System (CRS): https://www.fema.gov/floodplain-management/community-rating-system
- Real Time river level data provided by the USGS: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/uv?05528000
- National Flood Insurance Program: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
- Federal Insurance Rate Map: http://msc.fema.gov/
Maps are also available at the Village of Gurnee Engineering Division (325 North O'Plaine Road).