Chicago Weather: Heat breaks thanks to storms, but flooding reported in north suburbs

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After four days of extreme heat and humidity, heavy rains and thunderstorms broke the heat Monday evening. (WLS)

After four days of extreme heat and humidity, heavy rains and thunderstorms broke the heat Monday evening.

In parts of northern Illinois, a flash flood emergency left some areas under water.

In north suburban Zion soaking rains flooded Route 173. Water up to a foot high made driving treacherous.

In Lake Zurich, storm drains were tested as blinding rains slowed traffic.

Further west in Rockford, dangerous flooding brought reports of submerged vehicles, drivers being rescued and manhole covers being blown off as rising waters overwhelmed storm drains.

Rockford officials are urging residents to stay off the streets. There are also reports of significant flooding at Mercy Hospital in Rockford, requiring evacuations of that facility.

On Monday, heat indices were near 100 degrees during the day, but by about 10 p.m. temperatures will drop 20 degrees after the storms move through. An Excessive Heat Warning expired at 7 p.m. Monday in Cook County and surrounding counties after three days.

Metra UP-NW train No. 627 was stopped near Harvard and delayed for about 25 minutes due to standing water caused by heavy rain.

The Cubs game against the Dodgers was delayed due to weather.

At O'Hare International Airport, delays averaged 36 minutes and 162 flights were canceled. At Midway Airport, delays averaged 15 minutes and 69 flights were canceled.

Roads flooded in Rockford due to heavy rain.


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The Chicago area's heat wave continued on Monday.

Earlier Monday, beachgoers hit the sand early, trying to get out before the peak of the days heat index. Over the weekend, 31st Street Beach and Calumet Park Beach had calls for overcrowding on Sunday.

For those who worked outdoors, the extreme heat could pose a danger, which meant that construction crews, landscapers and other workers guzzled water and tried to stay in the shade.

Firefighters in Evanston couldn't avoid extended periods in the heat as they battled a blaze, and were checked-up afterwards.

"They have their vitals checked they get fluids we take off the gear so they can vent," said Chief Brian Scott, of the Evanston Fire Department.

In the Loop, people couldn't avoid the rising mercury on their walk to work, and had mixed feelings about the temperatures.

"I think that the thing that helped today and that's only today my husband didn't work so he dropped me off at the train. Otherwise, I'd be wet already," said Loop worker Tonja Konic.

"If ever I get too hot in Chicago, I just remember what the winters were like. I love this weather," said Loop worker Kathy Miller.

While business men and women in the Loop we're looking forward to their air conditioned offices, crews who work outside had little relief.

Monday morning, lawn crews were trying to stay ahead of the heat on the lakefront while construction crews were hard at work in the Loop.

"Yeah, I don't know if I necessarily want to be doing what they're doing, particularly in a couple of hours when the sun hits them directly," said Loop worker John Fallon.


Chicago residents can call 311 for information about city cooling centers or to request a well-being check for friends or family who may be affected by the heat.
The city says the Department of Family & Support Services has six community service centers that double as cooling centers during the summer. Five of those centers are open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie is open 24 hours a day.

Seniors without air conditioning are encouraged to go to one the city's 15 senior centers on weekdays. Five centers are also open on Saturdays and two are open on Sundays.

Some libraries, park facilities, police stations and other city-operated places serve as cooling centers in the evenings and weekends. Call 311 for after-hours cooling information.

Cook County has also released a list of cooling centers that are open throughout the suburbs, some of which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The full list and operating hours are available HERE.
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