Very strong storms caused some widespread flooding, as well as prompted tornado warnings, across the Chicago metro and surrounding areas on Monday night. The Riverwalk, a newly opened attraction in the downtown area completely flooded out last night due to the Chicago River, and the water made it difficult for residents of the area as well as any motorists trying to pass through.
The high water caused several roads to become completely impassable; the inbound lanes of Eisenhower Expressway at Harlem was one of the major freeways that had to be closed – Luckily for the morning commuters it was re-opened at 11:30 p.m. last night.
The CTA Blue Line finally resumed service with some minor delays around 10 p.m. after standing water halted trains between Forest Park and Harlem for several hours on Monday. Barricades were also put up along the Chicago River as it inundated the Riverwalk between Dearborn and Michigan Avenue. According to a representative with the Mayor’s office, the Riverwalk is actually designed to flood and will be cleaned up when the river levels return to normal.
Delays are also becoming an issue at the O’Hare International Airport; more than 815 flights were cancelled. According to the Chicago Department of Aviation, delays of 90 minutes and the cancellation of 25 flights were reported at Midway International Airport as well.
Monday evening was when the storms were at their worst, as the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for north central and northeast Illinois as thunderstorms rumbled through the area through the night. Local forecasters also reported that the storm dumped two inches of rain per hour in some of the hardest hit areas.
Flash floods were not the only concern though. The NWS also issued two tornado warnings in the Chicago area on Monday night as well. These tornado warnings were issued for Kankakee and Will Counties after the radar indicated a storm capable of producing a tornado around 7:45 p.m.
A Sheriff Deputy with Will County also said that a spotter saw a funnel cloud near Symerton; there was a very brief touchdown but thankfully no damage was reported. Another tornado warning was issued for Cook County after the same radar indicated cloud rotation in a storm cell near Bellwood, and the tornado sirens rang loudly throughout Chicago, Oak Park, Cicero, and Riverside.
There was no touchdown in these areas, but there was a funnel cloud spotted near Midway Airport. The Elmhurst police also reported a funnel cloud sighting near York Rd and Butterfield.
It is important to stay updated on the weather alerts in your area, as it can sometimes mean life or death if the storm is strong enough. Stay tuned to your local weather authority, The Weather Channel, or AccuWeather for continuous updates on the weather in your area.
If your home has flooded due to the excessive rain, make sure to call a certified water damage repair firm that can help you quickly and efficiently remove the water from your property before mold has a chance to grow.