CHICAGO — A 70-degree temperature swing is wreaking havoc on homes across the Chicago region, and now a home away from home for many is also flooded, after busted water pipes nearly ruined the Ronald McDonald House in Hyde Park.
Early Friday morning, the fire alarm in the Ronald McDonald House went off, forcing the families staying there to grab what they could and get out. Water poured out of every hole and down into the stairwell. Eventually, two feet of water settled in the basement.
"It was like a scene out of a movie," said resident Kayla Ybanez.
Ybenez’s four-year-old daughter Theresa has a mystery illness that left her with no immune system. She’s been at Comer Children’s Hospital for a year. Families like the Ybenez’s are already going through a very stressful period taking care and worrying about their sick children. The Ronald McDonald House tries to take away the burden of that.
Their family is one of seven now staying at the nearby La Quinta Inn after the Ronald McDonald House flooded. The building now needs to undergo a massive renovation.
"Just like in your homes, it takes over and you have to start opening walls and replacing insulation to take care of the problems," said Holly buckendahl, CEO of the local Ronald McDonald House Charities.
The renovation is going to take at least two to three months, during which they hope to get people back in phases, but the building will not be back up and fully running for a while.
For anyone looking to help affected families with some of their immediate needs, the Ronald McDonald House has created a fundraising page.