Essay on The Chicago Flood Of 1992
Mrs. Scarbrough/Mr. Hunter
Social Studies/Language Arts
16 December 2016
The Chicago Flood of 1992 April thirteenth, 1992. Busy, just like any other day in the Loop. But a series of highly unlikely mishaps would cause billions in damage that day. The events can be traced all the way back to 1899, when the Illinois Telephone and Telegraph company had permission to build tunnels for cables from city hall, but instead built seven-foot-wide railroad tunnels. These tunnels were used to remove coal ash and other trash from Loop buildings, providing a great advantage over the crowded streets, traffic being much worse than even today. Eventually the tunnels lost their advantage to modern technology and were finally abandoned in 1959. By then, traffics laws had changed to favor cars and the upper hand of the tunnels was all but lost. City services ignored the tunnel system, leaving it to deteriorate as the years passed on.
During September of 1991, pilings on the Kinzie Street Railroad Bridge were being replaced, but the construction crew had trouble removing the old pilings, so it was approved (without proper inspection) for them to build the new pilings three feet to one side. The new pilings pierced the degenerating tunnels, beginning a slow leak. The leak was found a few months later, by a television crew January of 1992. They tried to contact James Mctigue, but due to the city government having recently rearranged, they could not find him until February. He…