CHICAGO — Some Chicagoans on the West Side got an unexpected wake-up call Monday morning.

Julia Santiago told WGN News she was alerted by what she called a ‘major disaster’ as water gushed into her home on the 900 block of N. Noble St.

“Some big truck passed and we heard a big boom and then next thing, we all looked outside and the street had blown up,” Santiago said.  

But the water woes were flowing long before that, Santiago added.  

“[Water] poured into people’s basements, flooding up to the side of my waist,” she said.  

A steady stream poured into nearby buildings in the early hours of Jan. 2. Those affected included Santiago, her mother and her brother, who live in separate units. But Santiago said her brother’s apartment in the basement bore the bulk of the damage.  

“He woke up to the cold and the smell…at 5 in the morning,” she said. 

The gush of water left everything around Santiago’s brother submerged.  

“Everything is ruined. All his furniture – everything,” she said.  

But the mess could potentially have been avoided. WGN News learned that roadwork was done on N. Noble Street a few months back. When the neighbors recently spotted some sinkage, they say the city dropped cement on the problem, which Santiago adds also became an issue.

“This was about three or four days ago, I noticed water gushing from the cement they’d put in,” she said. “Plus, we had low water pressure.” 

Santiago says she tried alerting the city about that a few days ago but no one came. On Monday morning, things worsened.  

“There was a point when the water was running down the alley,” Santiago said.  

Residents started contacting the city around 5 a.m. Monday, but instead of getting immediate help, they say they were given the runaround.

“They waited too long,” Santiago said. “They kept saying call 311 and then they’d say call 911. That went on until almost 1 o’clock when they decided to come.” 

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While many enjoyed time off Monday, the day has been anything but enjoyable for Santiago and her family.  

 “Supposedly, it’s a holiday and they’ll get there when they get there,” Santiago said. “That’s what they told us.”