Metra UP-NW trains now running with hour delays

June 26, 2013 (CHICAGO)

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A Flash Flood Watch is in effect until 7 p.m. for several counties, including Cook; De Kalb; DuPage; Ford; Grundy; Iroquois; Kane; Kankakee; Kendall; La Salle; Lake; Lee; Livingston; McHenry; Ogle; Will; and Winnebago.

Rain started early Wednesday morning in downtown Chicago and the suburbs, causing several crashes and delaying trains during the Wednesday morning commute. The Edens Expressway is closed in both directions at Pratt due to flooding as of 7 a.m. with inbound cars detoured at Touhy and outbound detoured at Wilson.

Standing water is reported at Irving Park and Ravenswood on the city's Northwest Side. Motorists are urged not to drive through standing water.

Also, Metra has stopped trains along the UP-NW lines due to communication errors; it isn't clear if that's weather-related.

Several flood advisories are in effect for the area.

Also, thunderstorms could strike the Chicago area for the third day in a row.

"The potential for severe weather is greatest south of Chicago," ABC7 Meteorologist Tracy Butler said at 4:45 a.m. "I think any of these thunderstorms we get rumbling through here this morning are just going to be real heavy rain producers, a lot of lightning."

There haven't been any reports of hail, but the rain could still impact the morning commute and lead to crashes.

"We are going to be out ahead of this system most of the day," Butler said of a line of thunderstorms headed into Moline and Galena. "That allows us to really experience these muggy conditions."

Temperatures will be in the 80s on Thursday. And more storms are possible then, too.

But by the Blackhawks parade on Friday, things could shape up into a decent day.

Several flood advisories and watches are in effect across the area as rivers swell from the recent string of thunderstorms.

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