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School closings accompany flood warnings,severe wind gusts in the Chicago area.

April 18, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — Some schools in Lombard and Gurnee are closed Thursday due to flooding concerns.

The Chicago region was pounded by rain overnight, with as much as one inch of per hour falling across the area, delaying trains, flooding underpasses and turning the expressways into parking lots in time for the morning commute

Metra Delays/Cancellations All Metra BNSF inbound trains were delayed due to flooded platforms, and the pedestrian underpasses at the Belmont and Naperville stations were flooded beyond usability. On the Metra Electric, some station were flooded to the point that Metra suggested riders use alternate stations. Those stations include  University Park’s east entrance, Olympia Fields, 95th Street and 91st Street. A number of other Metra rail lines were also impacted by the flooding, including The Union Pacific west line, the North Central line, The BNSF line, and the Rock Island district line.


Overnight storms dumped heavy rains on the Chicago area, overflowing sewer capacity in many areas. A viaduct at 95th and Dorchester on the South Side was one site of flooded streets, as were the viaducts under the Kennedy at Belmont and Kimball on the Northwest Side.

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Some CTA bus routes were being detoured due to flooding. Routes 9, 47, 52A, 55, 63, 78, 90 and 92 at least are affected.


Flash-flood warnings were in effect across the Chicago area Thursday. Standing water was reported on Lake Shroe Drive. The two-day rain total at O’Hare was more than 4.5 inches with more on the way, said ABC7 meteorolgist Phil Schwarz. Flooding will be a major concern for the next 36 hours, he said.

The Edens was shut down in both directions near Pratt due to high water, creating a major traffic problem on both the expressway and the road running along it. Flooding also affected that expressway at Elston, Tower Road in Winnetka and Skokie.

Westbound lanes of the Eisenhower Expressway were closed at St. Charles Road; eastbound lanes were closed near Route 30. Lanes were also closed at Mannheim Road.

A large sinkhole swallowed three vehicles in the 9600 block of South Houston Avenue at 5:20 a.m., though no one was injured, Chicago police said. A state police car wasalso stalled in standing water at the Addison exit in the northbound lanes of Kennedy Expressway, state police said.

Swollen storm sewers, rivers and tributaries could overrun the lowlands across a large swath of the state, stretching from Peoria to Chicago, according to the weather service.

High winds could add to the misery with gusts expected to reach upwards of 40 miles per hour on Thursday, the weather service forecast.

Early Thursday northbound lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway were closed on the South Side near 87th Street as the deluge pushed storm sewers to capacity, according to the Illinois State Police.

The storm is traveling in a northeast direction from Oklahoma to Michigan, bringing with it rains, thunder storms and — in some areas –tornado alerts, according to the weather service.

Once the rains tapper off this afternoon a cold front from the southwest is expected to follow, dropping temperatures into the 40s and lower, if windchill is taken into account, Birk said.

While traffic mostly retuned to normal by 5 a.m., authorities were scrambling to investigate other reports of submerged roadways.


Most of the lanes of the Ryan were reopened to traffic after heavy rains submerged all but one northbound lane early Thursday, according to the Illinois State Police.

Rains that began around 9 p.m. Wednesday inundated storm sewers near West 87th Street, causing them to backup and flood the expressway, said Illinois State Police District Chicago Master Sgt. Jason LoCoco.

As of about 1:45 a.m. Thursday northbound traffic bottlenecked into the one remaining left-hand lane as motorists passed through the area, state police said.

Illinois Department of Transportation work crews were on the scene attempting to alleviate the problem and as of 4:50 a.m. only the right hand lane remained closed, state police said.

The flooding does not appear to be the result of a storm sewer clogged with debris.

“From what we know, it’s not that the sewers are unable to hold all the water. They are not clogged,” LoCoco said.

As of 4:50 a.m., State Police are investigating reports of flooding on the Edens near Petersen and Willow as well as the westbound I-290 near Wolf Road.

Suburban Flooding

Norm Schubert’s front yard is part of the Chain o’ Lakes, and his garage already filled with water.

“I’ve got so many things on your mind,” Schubert said. “When’s it going to stop? What do you need to do next?”

Neighbor John Annarella isn’t much better off. On Wednesday morning, his home was high and dry, but it’s now an island surrounded on all sides by water.

“It came up so fast,” he said. “Got home from work, and there it was. And the next thing we know, we’re sandbagging.”

The last time Fox Lake residents saw flooding like this was in August 2007 when several dozen homes ended up under water. On Wednesday night, Fox Lake volunteers were frantically filling sandbags. They expected to surpass the number they filled six years ago.

“We’re looking like we’re almost near 2007. Unfortunately, I think it’s a carbon copy,” said Annette Wolf, Fox Lake emergency coordinator.

“I’m making sure all the pallets get stacked properly and making sure we get them out as quick as possible,” said volunteer Alex Polizzi.

The flooding threat extends throughout much of Lake and McHenry counties. In Gurnee, sailors from nearby Great Lakes Naval Station were working to save Gurnee Community Church.

“They’re young, 20-something, throwing those sandbags like they weigh a pound. So it was fun to watch,” said resident Betty Fallos.

Back in Fox Lake, John Annabelle has a long night ahead.

“The sump pumps will be going non-stop,” he said. “We’ll be dealing with that tonight. I was just down in the crawl space making sure they’re all set and ready to go.”

In Fox Lake, they are expecting to have 18,000 sandbags filled by Thursday. visit for more news.

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