Chicago (CBS) – Torrential rain lashed the region on Sunday, closing expressways, flooding streets and basements, and affecting the first-ever NASCAR street race in the city.
O’Hare received 3.29 inches of rain by 5 p.m., a record for the day. The old record was 2.06 inches which was set in 1982. This would be an overall increase as it is still raining. Some areas received more than double the rainfall since 7 am.
Flash Flood Warning Raised / Beach Hazard Statement Issued
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Cook County until 6:30 p.m.
Coastal Hazard Statement in effect until 9 p.m.
Top 100 hottest days in Chicago
Sunday was the warmest day since May 17, 2020, with some areas receiving up to eight inches of rain.
The total rainfall recorded in its 1871 history placed it among the city’s top 100 rainiest days.
The heaviest rain was concentrated near the city and western suburbs.
Eight inches of rain has been reported since 7 a.m. in Berwyn, with Midway Airport recording about five inches of rain.
Lincoln Park reported more than seven inches.
Areas outside that narrow swath of low pressure saw a fair inch or two of more precipitation. Several roads in that area were flooded.
Chicago River Flood
City officials say the Chicago River is nearing the stage when the Riverwalk will flood. The current level is 2.7 feet, affecting pedestrian low-lying areas. According to an email received from the city, once flood levels reach three feet, the river course is “submerged.”
Due to rising levels, the city has also reversed the flow of the river, allowing rainwater to drain into Lake Michigan. The Riverwalk has been closed, although the river is expected to rise up to three feet tonight.
The city of Chicago is asking residents to refrain from using excess water for bathing, washing clothes or cleaning dishes until storm conditions continue.
“As our climate changes and we see heavy rain events in short periods of time, it becomes increasingly difficult for our sewer systems to move water efficiently. While this may present a temporary inconvenience, It is better to have water pooling on the street than in residents’ basements,” the city said in a statement.
Several videos posted on Citizen showed roads and bridges submerged under several feet of water. A video from an Austin neighborhood shows cars submerged after attempting to drive through several feet of water.
Firefighters reported up to five feet of water in some basements in the 4900 block of West Augusta.
Videos showed several cars being almost completely submerged under bridges across the region and several people had to be rescued from waist-deep water.
Lanes closed due to water-logging on the expressway
The Stevenson Expressway has reopened between Cicero and Pulaski after being closed in both directions.
Inbound and outbound lanes on the Eisenhower Expressway in Des Plaines, two left lanes on outbound I-57 at 127th are closed, and the northbound I-55 ramp to Route 83 is closed as of 3:29 p.m. The two left lanes exit at Harlem Avenue, which leads to solid traffic back towards Independence Boulevard.
Earlier in the day, a Chicago police officer called for help after being trapped in deep water near Flournoy and Cicero on the West Side. A police source told CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek that the officer is okay, but it’s a good reminder to use caution in this heavy rain.
NASCAR Street Race/Show Cancellations
After being pushed back twice on Sunday morning, NASCAR made the decision to canceldue to flood. As a result, Cole Custer was declared the winner of the contest.
In addition to the canceled races, Charlie Crockett and Miranda Lambert’s Sunday concerts were also canceled. The Chainsmokers’ performance on Saturday was canceled due to lightning.
Event organizers were still planning to hold the Cup Series start at 4 p.m., but announced a delay shortly before 4 p.m., saying they would be “holding patterns for the Grant Park 220 until conditions improve.” were in.” UPDATE: Drivers were called to their cars for the start at 5:15 p.m. ET.
Train Cancellation / Bus Route Diversion
CTA Pink Line train service between Pulaski and 54th and Blue Line service between UIC Halsted and Forest Park are suspended due to weather.
Blue Line service has also been suspended between UIC-Halsted to Kedzie and Harlem to Forest Park due to track conditions. Those trains operate in two segments: between Forest Park and Kedzie and between O’Hare and UIC-Halsted.
Shuttle buses have been requested to provide service between UIC Halsted and Forest Park.
The following bus services are affected:
- #54 Cicero buses are temporarily diverted in both directions via Cicero, Chicago, Central, Madison and Cicero due to road blockage near Cicero/Cermak.
- #53 Pulaski buses temporarily diverted in both directions via Pulaski, Chicago, Kedzie, Madison and Pulaski due to road closures at Pulaski/Ferdinand.
- Due to road closures near #12 Roosevelt/Colmar, Roosevelt buses are temporarily diverted in both directions via Roosevelt, Koestner, Cermak, Laramie, 16th, Cicero and Roosevelt.
Riders can check it out CTA website for updates,
Metra said in a tweet that several Metra Union Pacific West trains were delayed due to high water, but the water has receded and trains have resumed operations.
CBS 2 meteorologist Albert Ramon says that after 7 p.m. the chance of rain will begin to drop – with clear skies overnight.