Chicago Weather: Storms leave damage, outages

May 29, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Heavy rains and strong winds caused some flooding and knocked down trees and power lines. City crews have been cleaning up storm damage all morning. High waters went down around 8 a.m. Wednesday at a flooded major viaduct that had been closed.

"We had maybe three feet of water about an hour ago. We had four catch basins that were full with about three inches of mud on top of them. We got them down a little over an hour ago. It is like a tsunami hit here," said Steve Rodriguez.

Last night's downpour of flooding on several Chicago streets and underpasses detoured vehicles, but some tried to make it through, getting stalled. At least one vehicle is now abandoned.

"We have a street sweeper coming to clean this up, and we will open it up as soon as we can," said Rodriguez.

In southwest suburban Lemont, there was more high water, and just down the road, big branches struck power lines. And tree limbs were on the ground.

In Mazon in Grundy County, ComEd crews worked through the night to get the power back on in the town. The storm toppled several power poles outside town, and as it rolled through, residents heard a loud boom before the lights rolled out.

"The storm rolled through and locked out one of our main generators at the ComEd switching station. The transformer is blown to pieces, so they are trying to isolate it and get us back up," said Chief Mark Brookman, Mazon

Some communities had 60 mile per hour wind gusts, causing power outages. The latest numbers from ComEd say that in the region, about 2,500 homes are still without power. nding what she calls

The high temperature for Wednesday is expected to reach the mid to high 80s, while rain will linger over the area for most of the morning hours, according to the forecast from the National Weather Service.

Temperatures are expected to fall to about 70 degrees overnight.

Thursday's outlook is similar, though the rain isn't expected to return to the area until the early evening, according to the weather service.

Friday's temperatures should be cooler, albeit slightly, with a high temperature near 75 degrees.

Rain will creep back into the area Friday night and is expected to remain until midday Saturday.

Several Chicago-area counties were under a flash flood warning. The storms brought 60 mph wind gusts and hailstones, along with the "torrential" 1 to 2-inch downpours within an hour or less, National Weather Service said.

At about 9:30 p.m., the line of thunderstorms reached Beverly Shores, Ind., after blasting its way through the southwestern suburbs and into Chicago.

Hardest hit are the southern suburbs, were 10,500 ComEd customers were left without power, spokeswoman Krissy Posey said. About 9,000 people in Chicago were in the dark, and 1,100 people in the northern metro area were without electricity. Roughly 220 west suburban homes are without power.

Viaducts throughout the city were flooded, and crews are responding to downed and arcing powerlines, according to Chicago Fire Department officials. No one has been reported injured.

Midway Airport, on the city's Southwest Side, saw 1.96 inches of rain in about an hour and fifteen minute span, NWS Meterologist Mike Bardou said.

In the southwest suburbs, Bolingbrook saw 1.46 inches of rain, most of which fell in just 45 minutes. Romeoville, where the weather service is headquartered, saw an inch of rain while Frankfort saw about 0.8 inches.

The downpour left three-quarters of an inch of rain in south suburban Tinley Park in about 40 minutes, while west suburban Woodridge was soaked with 1.35 inches of rain as of Tuesday night.

Northwestern Will County, southern and central Cook County and southern DuPage County were under a flash flood warning until 2:30 a.m. because of the "excessive" storm runoff.

Forecasters earlier issued a tornado warning for west-central Will County and east-central Grundy County after spotting a thunderstorm with rotating winds near Elwood, but that warning was called off about 9 p.m.

However, strong winds uprooted large trees near Coal City, and blew the roof off of a machine shed near Marseilles in LaSalle County, Bardou said. Forecasters could not say Tuesday night whether a tornado caused that damage.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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