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Elissa Nadworny /MEDILL

Patricia Rojas, 47, shows where the water level was in her Albany Park basement apartment last week when the north branch of the Chicago River flooded.

Chicago flooding washed away her home, but not her spirit

by Elissa Nadworny
April 30, 2013

particia bedroom

Elissa Nadworny/ MEDILL

What remains of Patricia Rojas' bedroom in her Albany Park basement apartment.


Courtesy of Patricia Rojas

A firefighter heads back into Rojas' building to find other stranded tenants.

Albany Park resident Patricia Rojas, 47, had intended on doing some spring-cleaning this month before she moved out of her basement apartment. And then the Chicago River flooded, claiming everything she owned. Rojas escaped by boat and more than a week later she’s still cleaning the damaged furniture and damp debris the water left behind. In good spirits despite the situation, Rojas joked that the cleaning she did Sunday was not quite what she had in mind when she was planning her spring purge.

Rojas is staying with a friend, searching for a new apartment. She is looking forward to starting fresh and is determined to keep a positive attitude.