Flash Flooding Closes Ike, Strands Motorists for Hours

Thunderstorms hit the area shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014  |  Updated 5:56 AM CDT
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Frustrated motorists kept idling for several hours due to standing water. NBC 5's Rob Elgas reports.

Frustrated motorists kept idling for several hours due to standing water. NBC 5's Rob Elgas reports.

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Illinois State Police reopened all lanes of the Eisenhower Expressway in the west suburbs by 2:45 a.m. Wednesday after flooding stranded drivers for hours.

Thousands of commuters were at a standstill after flash flooding caused by heavy rains closed the Eisenhower Expressway near 25th Avenue near Broadview for hours.

The thunderstorms hit the area shortly after 6 p.m., and high water forced Illinois State Police to close the highway in both directions between 17th and 25th avenues. Traffic was moving slowly by 9:30 p.m. as Illinois State Police began re-routing traffic at 25th Avenue, but the expressway remained closed.

Several cars stranded in the water had to be towed away.

"It's like a million cars, people backing up, I thought it was like a major car collision or something," a stranded driver told NBC Chicago.

NBC Chicago's Phil Rogers was driving on Interstate 290 when traffic stopped. As of 9:30 p.m., he was still stuck on the expressway.

"We were hit with just walls of rain, and first just a few flooded viaducts and then traffic just stopped dead where I've been sitting here with several thousands of my fellow motorists for more than three hours," Rogers said.

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