First reported 7/26/2010 2:50 p.m.

Residents concerned about another bout with water and sewage in their basements began organizing Monday morning on the social networking site Facebook.

“Forest Parkers Against Flooding” is the name of a group set up mid-morning Monday by Elgin Avenue resident Marete Steger.

As of the Review’s Web post about it Monday afternoon, the group had 17 members. As of our press deadline Tuesday morning, the group had 106 members.

Steger began urging members to attend Monday night’s village council meeting and present their concerns. It’s not known how many turned out because of the Facebook group, but attendance at this council meeting was more than twice of that at any meeting this year.

What got the 29-year-old mom of three to the point of such 21st century community organizing?

“Last month, I was home alone with my two young boys and my 1-year-old daughter. The tornado sirens went off and we headed to our basement. Not more than five minutes later, I saw water coming in through the drain on the floor. Not just water, but sewage. Raw sewage. I had someone else’s feces in my house. The water kept coming, and coming and coming. I took my kids back up to the first-floor bathroom and told them to stay there. I went back down to the basement and watched my cement floor rise due to the water pressure, and rise until it buckled. Then the water was pouring into my basement through a huge hole in my floor. After the rain stopped and the water was no longer rising, I had 2 feet of sewage backup in my basement,” Steger replied Tuesday afternoon in a message sent to her on Facebook.

“My husband and I had to rent a Dumpster because we had to throw away two couches, a coffee table, an entertainment center, a bookshelf and our children’s entire library, three rugs and countless other belongings.

“…the first time, our furnace, hot water heater and brand new washer and dryer dried out and were saved. Not this time.

“This time we had almost 3 feet of water. We lost more, including almost all of our Christmas decorations and our hot water heater. We are not sure about the washer and dryer yet. …

“My husband and I … have been given estimates that range from $3,800 to $16,000 just to have our home waterproofed. That isn’t including what we had to pay for a Dumpster, an electrician and Service Master to rip out all of our drywall, wash, sanitize, microban, deodorize and dry our basement. We currently have two dehumidifiers and six blowers in our basement for two more days.”

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