Chicago Weather: Heavy rain causes flooding in city, suburbs as rivers swell

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Rivers, streams and creeks overflowed their banks and flooded parks, yards and even some garages and basements, while roads across the Chicago area closed for high standing water after heavy rain fell overnight and into Wednesday morning.

Most of the rain had moved out of the area by midday, but showers and storms are expected to return as early as overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

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Chopper 7HD flew above west suburban Wheaton where heavy rain led to flooded streets.

Residents in the Chicago area are being asked by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to limit their water usage, especially for laundry and showers, until water levels recede to help take some pressure off the system.

The south and west suburbs saw the heaviest rainfall, with 2.81 inches of rain falling in Burr Ridge, 2.68 inches of rain in Plainfield and 2.66 inches of rain in Naperville. Several Flood Warnings are in effect for Chicago area rivers.

In Plainfield, residents kept an anxious eye on the swollen DuPage River.

"There's supposed to be some more rain coming, so if that does come down hard enough, we could be in a little bit of trouble," said Corinne Coffindaffer, resident.

Water is now just yards from homes on Vista Lane.

"In two words, unreal and unbelievable. It's just crazy knowing how the river is usually just so far back, and how today it's covering a full street," said resident Anthony Tamayo.

There are similar scenes in other suburbs, including at Tam Golf Course in Niels. Some roads in Des Plaines are impassable, and at least one driver learned that the hard way.

In Lisle, pumps are working around the clock after water ended up in yards and garages.

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Rivers, streams and creeks overflowed their banks while roads across the Chicago area closed for high standing water after heavy rain fell overnight and into Wednesday morning.

"We watch the culverts over here, the two of them." Said David Baleske, resident. "If it starts getting caught really heavy they'll fill up and you can't see the top of the culvert, we know we're in for trouble."

DuPage County Stormwater Management said they are operating all of its flood control facilities early Wednesday. Throughout the week, DuPage County received approximately 3.5 to 4.5 inches of rainfall countywide with the National Weather Service forecasting an additional 1/4 inches through Thursday, the agency said.

"What we're doing is assisting the village by setting up two pump systems to get that water into the east branch and help the residents who are experiencing some backyard flooding and some basement flooding," said DuPage County Stormwater Management Deputy Director Sarah Hunn.

WATCH: New tunnel in Albany Park holds off flooding from heavy rain
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Did the tunnel do its job?

Floodwaters are covering a number of busy roads in the south and west suburbs and led to the closure of the Naperville Riverwalk.
"We work with the park district for them to rope off Riverwalk to make sure that people don't go onto the area, obviously. Safety is our number one concern for our residents and our citizens," said Linda Lacloche, Naperville communications manager.

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Floodwaters covered busy roads in the south and west suburbs and the Naperville Riverwalk closed because of high water.

Naperville residents marveled at a rain-swollen DuPage River.

"It's just amazing," said Naperville resident Imelda Enrique. "We came to take the Riverwalk, but we couldn't so we decided to take some pictures. It's amazing. I like to see these things."

A number of streets are closed due to high standing water. In Palos Park and Orland Park, Southwest Highway is closed between 131st and 143rd streets. Several intersections and roads are closed in Wheaton, including Main Street from Illinois to Roosevelt.

Several streets in Glen Ellyn were shut down because of high standing water as well.

In Chicago, the wet weather made its mark on city streets, as crews closed a part of Jefferson Street for emergency repairs after the street buckled. Jefferson Street is closed to all traffic between Adams and Monroe Streets.

The Chicago Department of Transportation would not confirm if the heavy bouts of rain are to blame but the street buckled after water from nearby sewers overflowed.

Meanwhile overnight, parts of I-55 flooded, specifically near the Pulaski exit, forcing cars to slow down.

In the city's East Side neighborhood, an alleyway looked more like a stream. Neighbors there said flooding was so bad cars were driving on the bike path to avoid the flood waters.

The Chicago Water Reclamation Center center's control room is monitoring water levels closely.

"As waterfalls from the sky we continually open gate and try and stay ahead of it to keep the waterways at an elevation where we can still manage all that water," said Ed Staudacher, Chicago Water Reclamation Center.

MWRD officials are asking all residents to restrict water use as much as possible over the next few days. For instance put off laundry, showers, washing clothes, doing dishes until after the storm and capacity returns to normal. They say this will take some pressure off the system.
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