Gravestones Submerged After Heavy Rain Floods North Side Cemetery

A cemetery on the North Side of Chicago was flooded Monday afternoon—leaving only the tips of tombstones visible above the murky rainwater.

A row of gravestones in part of Irving Park Cemetery, in the 7700 block of West Irving Park Road, were submerged in water after heavy rainfall despite the city’s efforts to pump water from the area overnight. City employees could be seen Monday continuing to drain the area toward the west end of the graveyard where water has also seeped into the basements of some homes on North Pacific Avenue, residents say.

According the National Weather Service, the DuPage River was 22 ft. high in Bolingbrook where the area saw moderate flooding. The Des Plaines River in Lemont was 11 ft. high with minor flooding—but the NWS expects the water levels to rise through Tuesday morning.

Where the heaviest flooding took place at Irving Park Cemetery, an inch or two of gray and beige headstones appear above the water—and others completely submerged in the murky water can barely be made out.

Long-time residents of the Dunning neighborhood says there's always been a problem with flooding from the cemetery--but now it's getting worse.

Ald. Nicholas Sposato told NBC 5 the graveyard is owned by Texas-based Dignity Memorial and this isn’t the first time the cemetery has flooded. Arena said he’s tried for years to get the company to fix the issue, but the company protests that it could cost them $1 million.

A person who answered the phone at the cemetery's offices told NBC 5 the company had no comment.

Dignity Memorial will be billed for the city’s work pumping the water out of the cemetery.

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