Skip to content
Grist home
Support nonprofit news

Articles by Maia McDonald

Maia McDonald is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Chicago, Illinois with a background in broadcast journalism and community reporting. A native of the city’s Southeast Side and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism, Maia is currently a community reporting intern at Borderless Magazine and a freelance reporter for Block Club Chicago.

Featured Article

Delia and Ramon Vasquez's stiff jeans and soaking wet T-shirts hang over the wire fence surrounding their home in Cicero, Ill., July 3, 2023.

This story was originally published by Borderless.

The day before Independence Day, the summer sun beat down on dozens of clothes and shoes strewn across the backyard and fence of the Cicero, Illinois, home where Delia and Ramon Vasquez have lived for over 20 years. 

A nearly nine-inch deluge of rain that fell on Chicago and its suburbs the night before had flooded their basement where the items were stored in plastic bins. Among the casualties of the flood were their washer, dryer, water heater and basement cable setup. The rain left them with a basement’s worth of things to dry, appliances and keepsakes to trash, and mounting bills. 

The July flood was one of the worst storms the Chicago region has seen in recent years and over a month later many families like the Vasquezes are still scrambling for solutions. Without immediate access to flood insurance, the couple was left on their own to deal with the costs of repairing the damage and subsequent mold, Delia said. The costs of the recent flood come as the Vasqu... Read more