Suburbs hit hard by storms: School closures, standing water, flooded basements

April 18, 2013 (CHICAGO)

The north and west suburbs are hardest hit, but the flooding is reported all over the Chicago area, including in the city.

Officials warned drivers not to try to go through the flooded intersections and to use extreme caution when approaching standing water. Also, do not try to drive around barricaded roads.

"Do not try to go through this water the way it is, because your car will stall, and you will be in danger," said one city worker, who had to rescue a woman from a stranded car through a car window after she tried to drive through.

"I can tell you the most important thing is, if you have the ability to stay home, please do," Jonathan Meneken, Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), said. Meneken said the organization spends a lot of resources on stranded motorists.

Meneken briefed Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on the state's flooding Thursday. He'll update the governor on the situation of the roadways and the latest update from the National Weather Service, and from there they'll plan out the next 24 hours.

Officials also urged residents to stay out of flooded basements until the water recedes.

A school bus in south suburban Dolton stalled at 158th between East End and Greenwood Streets. Several children were rescued by raft.

The Skokie Courthouse is also closed for the day, and a Hillside nursing home was evacuated as a precautionary measure. Patients were taken to other nursing homes and hospitals.

The Towers of Four Lakes Village in unincorporated Lisle was evacuated as residents scrambled to safety from the rising flood waters.

In western DuPage County, officials evacuated residents in a flooded subdivision at Route 53 and Butterfield Road in unincorporated Glen Ellyn. The DuPage County Sheriff's Office and city officials are using boats to transport residents to the local elementary school Arborview. There are no reports of injuries

In northwest suburban Fox Lake, officials are using an all-terrain vehicle to get into the flooded areas.

"The residents have to communicate with us if they want to stay or go," said Annette Wolf, Fox Lake Emergency Services, said. She said they can't force residents to leave, but are offering rides out to dry land, and sandbags to try to protect their homes. That effort got under way earlier.

"This is creeping up pretty good, faster than I've ever seen it," Ted Krus, Fox Lake resident, said.

Hundreds of roads are closed to major flooding, and area rivers and streams continue to rise. A state of emergency was declared in Lombard.

As of 7:30 a.m., the Des Plaines River in Gurnee was at 10.01 feet and rising. A number of local roads are closed, including Route 41 between Route 21 and Delany Road in both directions, as well as Grand Avenue between O'Plaine Road and First Street in both directions. Gurnee has also declared a state of emergency.

In Aurora, major roads were closed due to flooding: Farnsworth Avenue between Indian Trail and Mountain Street; Broadway Avenue (Rt. 25) between Pierce Street and the U.S. Post Office; 75th Street between Routes 34 (Ogden Av.) and 59; South Eola Road between Montgomery Road and 87th Street; Route 34 (Ogden Av.) eastbound at Long Grove; Orchard Road between Galena and Prairie is 1 lane in each direction.

Also, in McHenry County, heavy rains led police to close several roads, including Algonquin Rd between IL RT 31 and Pyott Rd. Algonquin; Kemman Rd. North of Van Der Karr Rd. (Roadway washed out) . High standing water is reported in Route 20 at County Line Rd, Marengo; River Rd. between Route 23 and Squire Rd., Marengo; Route 23 at Collins Rd., Marengo; Oak Grove Rd. between Route 173 and Wright Rd., Harvard; St. Patricks Rd. at Murray Rd, Woodstock; Route 31 at Ringwood Rd., Ringwood; Riverdale Rd and Dee Dr., Island Lake.

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