Chicago Weather: Record rain floods streets across area

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Record-breaking rain on Saturday sparked widespread flooding in the Chicago area.

Some areas saw between five to eight inches of rain. Somonauk, Glen Ellyn and Downers Grove each received more than eight inches of rain. In Chicago, Midway Airport recorded more than five inches of rain and O'Hare Airport had 4.19 inches of rain, which is the most recorded at O'Hare on a single day in October.

The Chicago Riverwalk was partially flooded Sunday morning and had to be taped off.

"This is really mind boggling. I'm shocked to see this. Hope it's not destroyed," said Kaoni Tai.

Popular restaurants, like City Winery, narrowly escaped water damage, but was closed on Sunday.

"The water ended up reaching all the way to the benches we set up out front," said City Winery employee Cesar Avila said.

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The Chicago area grappled with flooded streets and swollen rivers a day after heavy rain on Saturday.

The river is normally packed with kayakers and boats. But tour companies including Chicago's First Lady Cruises have cancelled all boat rides until the water recedes.

"It's definitely eerie, desolate and sad," said Dana Brown, who was attempting to visit the Riverwalk.

In fact one of the few boats out Sunday morning was Chicago police vessel patrolling the high water.

In Chinatown, the facade of a four-story building in the 2200-block of South Wentworth crumbled off after a lightning strike. No injuries were reported. The American Red Cross was called to the scene to help the people who live inside.

In southwest suburban Crestwood, a tree toppled into a house and a woman was inside when it came through. Anthony Gibson Jr. said his mother is ok.

"I knew something happened. She called me about six or seven times. I knew something was up. When I got here, this is what we discovered and called the fire department and called ComEd. They have come out, and now it is just a matter of cleaning up," said Gibson.

In other parts of the Chicago area, streets were flooded out. In Hickory Hills, Roberts Road began filling with water rapidly. Drivers said the rain was so heavy, they couldn't see that the road was covered in water and by the time they were in the middle of it, it was too late and they were stalling out.

"My car ended up getting stuck, my bf was beside me, in my truck. He ended up pulling up and i managed to climb out my window, and get of the roof," said Katie, a stalled driver.

In Lake Forest, firefighters responded to 10 calls for vehicles stalled in flooded water and rescued eight people and two dogs from flooded vehicles.

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In Naperville, the following streets have been closed because of flooding:

- Naper Boulevard between Abbeywood Drive and Dunrobin
- Dunrobin is also closed from Naper to Olesen
- Naper Boulevard north of 75th Street has water on the pavement
- Washington Street by Jefferson Junior High School

- Bauer by Jefferson Junior High School
- 95th Street by Cedar Glade and Skylane

There are flood warnings along the Fox River, the Des Plaines River and the east branch and west branch of the DuPage River. The rivers are expected to crest by Sunday afternoon and evening.

The Des Plaines River was 8.52 feet deep and expected to crest in Riverside Sunday evening at a depth of 8.9 feet. This is defined as Moderate Flood Stage which means the Swan Pond area will be flooded, and there is limited street flooding throughout the village that is being monitored by the public works, police and fire departments, officials said.

The weather also caused big backups at Chicago's airports. Overnight, stranded travelers fell asleep waiting at O'Hare. More than 250 flights were canceled at O'Hare Saturday and another 37 flights were canceled at Midway.

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