Storms cause flooding, damage; cleanup begins

June 9, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The hardest-hit area seemed to be to the south and southwest of downtown Chicago.

The rain had stopped as of 11:30 a.m., and some of the water had started to recede. Water appeared to be going off the roadways, and unfortunately it had made its way into some basements.

Residents who had flooding have a lot of work ahead them for the next several days. There were also reports of downed power lines and viaducts that had flooded - not just local roads, but highways with standing water. Travel on the Dan Ryan and Bishop Ford was tough at the height of storm with so much water and nowhere for it to go.

On Stony Island just south of 95th Street, cars were barely getting through the deep water. Around the corner, getting east or west on 95th was also a challenge for morning commuters.

The downed power lines caused power outages across the area. At about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, ComEd reported about 66,700 power outages throughout its system.

ComEd reported 14,400 total outages in Chicago, 6,600 in the area north, 3,700 to the south, and 3,600 to the west. 310 ComEd crews were out working as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday in addition to 180 vegetation management crews.

The overnight storms knocked out power to people in northwest Indiana as well. Some of them may be even more upset because about 600 homes just got power back Wednesday after not having it for four days.

Most of those outages were in the town of Demotte, about 30 miles south of Gary. Storms last weekend had knocked down utility poles, power lines and damaged other equipment.

In west suburban Bellwood, a downed power line went across Metra tracks near Wolf Road, causing delays on the Union Pacific West Line. As of late morning, trains were reportedly moving through the area slowly.

The storms put on quite a lightning show all over the area, including west suburban Elmhurst. Streaks of lightning lit up the night skies, and a lot of ABC7 Facebook fans said the thunder woke them up overnight.

Many homeowners were dealing with flooded basements in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood. One resident said they had up to five feet of standing water.

"The smell is overpowering. So we are going to try and get the smell out. The Shop-Vac isn't doing anything at this point. It's just clean and clean and clean. It's awful," said Erin Devlin.

Maureen Noonan had just finished renovating her basement after flooding last June.

"The city needs to do something. There definitely has to be something wrong with the sewer system in Mount Greenwood for this to happen year after year after year," said Noonan.

In Washington Heights, several neighbors along Wallace and Parnell had flooding. Lucille Cornelius is concerned about appliances in the basement that were sitting in water.

"It amazing. You live in the fear, whenever you hear a big rain like this you think, 'oh God, please don't let it happen this time. So that's why we jumped on up and came and see, and there it was," said Cornelius.

In the Joliet area, a homeowner said that it was the second time their ranch-style house on Harris Drive has flooded this year.

Although the storms had passed by midday Thursday, homeowners still had to wait for the water to recede to try and begin the cleanup.

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