Hundreds of resident of southwest suburban Forest View showed up for an emergency meeting at the town hall Tuesday night.
The crowd was so large, it was moved to the adjoined fire house.
They wanted to know why town officials had not alerted them to the quickly rising flood waters Thursday and why they couldn’t get help when they called 911.
The small town of about 700 residents sits along the Des Plaines River and covers about one square mile. Residents say they’ve never had such major flooding and many of them do not have flood insurance on their homes.
Many of those homes were severely flooded, leaving residents homeless. Town President Richard Grenvich and Fire Chief John Kiser addressed concerns at Tuesday’s meeting. They said the Forest View village hall and fire station were also flooded and had to be evacuated, leaving the town unable to handle calls from residents.
Kiser says officials decided not to sound the tornado sirens because it would give residents a mixed message and possibly sending them to seek shelter in their basements, where flood waters were rising.
He says 160 homes were evacuated and 250 people rescued during an 80-hour period beginning Thursday.
Mounds of water-logged furniture, personal belongings and flooring now line the streets in Forest View.
Residents say they are now drying out and waiting to see if they qualify for help from FEMA.