Golf Course Flooding – Before, During and After

2017 was a record year for flooding. Not only locally but throughout the country.  Hurricanes battered coastal areas and areas inland seemed to trap rain and surge water for what seemed like weeks

July 2017 Rainfall Event – Northeast Illinois

The July 2017 rainfall event that came through a portion of Lake County, Illinois, was one for the ages.   Rainfall depths in some of the areas of the county reached 6+ inches in approximately 12-hours and water surface elevations of waterways reached levels that had never been seen before.

Photos of flooded fairways and greens  located along the Skokie River in Lake County popped up through email and twitter. For some background of the area, during the early 1900s the low-lying land adjacent to rivers and waterways were prime locations to construct golf courses. How prime?  There are approximately 11 golf courses built adjacent to the 13 miles of the Skokie River.

Bob O’Link Golf Club

The location of Bob O’ Link golf course is unique.  Located near southern boundary of Lake County it is divided by the Skokie River.  The tributary area is approximately 20 square miles with 85% developed with residential, commercial and industrial facilities. The long and narrow shaped watershed allows stormwater to fill streams and sewers quickly, resulting it flash flooding.

These flash flood events produce a devastating amount of damage to residential and commercial structures, they also recede quickly and get back within the banks in a relatively short time period.  For example, by the time the Skokie River had reached peak water surface elevations and returned to its banks, many of the larger waterways in the county were still days away from reaching its peak, let alone recede.

Prior to Flood Event:

Bob O’Link Golf Club

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