Chicago weather: Drivers rescued, homes flooded amid heavy rain in southern suburbs

ByTre Ward and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, September 18, 2023
Drivers rescued, homes flooded amid heavy rain in southern suburbs
Heavy rain caused flooding in Calumet City, IL on Sunday. A Flash Flood Warning in the area has since expired.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Heavy rain moved through the Chicago area on Sunday, causing flooding in parts of the city and suburbs.

A Flash Flood Warning was in effect for Cook County and Lake County, Indiana until 5 p.m., the National Weather Service said. And, an underpass became flooded near Ashland and Hubbard in the city on Sunday morning.

An underpass was flooded near the intersection of Ashland and Hubbard Sunday morning.

In the southern suburbs, gray skies seemed to linger as rain poured into the roads and streets.

"Man, it's just messed up out here right now. Water in people's basements. You had people walking through that in their clothes," said Rico, who lives in Calumet City.

Neighbors watched as some parking lots turned into small pools in Calumet City.

Firefighters waded through high waters to rescue stranded drivers, including some who had to abandon their cars.

A video from a clothing store in Dolton shows water seeping through the front door, soaking the floors and some merchandise.

"The water was from the front of the store all the way to the back room," said Ed Kittaneh, the owner of Dress To Impress. "I haven't seen anything like that. We've been in the same location for 30 years. This is the first time it's flooded this bad."

SEE ALSO | 'People need help': Some West Side residents struggling to get FEMA flood assistance grants

While most of the flooding there has receded, south suburban residents were left to clean up the damage on Sunday night. For many of them, this isn't their first time they had to do so within only the last few months.

With each step an ABC7 crew took in Jovan Davison's basement, they could still feel the water under their shoes.

"Water marks here," Davison said. "Everything was standing up in totes. Now, it's all flooded. So, the water had gotten pretty high."

Davison said a seemingly small leak in her kitchen's ceiling would eventually lead to her basement being swallowed by floodwater.

"You lose a lot of your things that are memories that you can't get back. And this is, like I said, the third time this has happened to me in this house in the last three months," Davison said.

Calumet City Mayor Thaddeus Jones spoke with ABC7 while he was surveying the damage in his city.

"We have one of the oldest sewer systems in the south suburbs, as do many communities," Jones said.

Jones said based on his early assessments, it could take some time for his residents to recover.

This comes after Jones said FEMA is already in the southern suburbs, helping homeowners after torrential rain and floods from the summer.

"They've been here since Thursday giving residents assistance, but now, we're going to have to apply for additional assistance through the governor to get this taken care of," Jones said.

In the meantime, Jones said the city is offering free towing services for drivers who cars were stranded in floodwater.

So far, he said, there have been no reports of anyone hurt.

The rain let up by 4 p.m., but scattered light showers are expected in the Chicago area through Monday afternoon, said ABC7 Meteorologist Greg Dutra.

Northeast winds prompted Beach Hazard Statements in Cook and Lake counties in Illinois and Porter and Lake Counties in Indiana that are set to go through Monday morning.

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