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.