Overnight Storms Cause Flooding, Outages in Chicago

By Michelle Relerford and Alexandria Fisher
|  Wednesday, May 29, 2013  |  Updated 9:45 AM CDT
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    Torrential overnight downpours overwhelmed parts of Chicago's Southwest Side, leaving streets flooded and thousands of homes in the dark.

    The area saw between one and two inches or rain within an hour, causing flash flooding on the city's southern end and in the south suburbs. The National Weather Service reported nearly two inches of rain at Midway International Airport. Strong wind gusts knocked down power lines and left nearly 8,500 homes in Chicago and south suburbs without power.

    In Lemont, a tree limb took out a power line on Bell Road near 131st Street, and in Oak Lawn, a tree snapped and fell onto Pulaski, blocking it at 92nd Street. Several cars were stuck in flooded viaducts.

    The severe weather rolled into the Chicago area Tuesday night, with many counties experiencing warnings of severe thunderstorms, flash floods and even tornados.

    Tornado warnings were issued for Grundy County and Will County until 9 p.m. At 8:20 p.m. a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Mazon, Ill. and moved northeast at 35 mph, the National Weather Service reported.

    Many areas experienced extreme lightning, high winds and heavy rainfall. The heavy rain forced a cancelation of Tuesday's Chicago White Sox vs. Cubs game. A makeup date and time will be announced at a later date, according to the Chicago White Sox.

    Severe thunderstorm warnings also were issued in Kankakee, DuPage, Cook, Will and Grundy counties. Most of those warnings expired at 9:30 p.m., but a severe thunderstorm warning remained in effect until 11:15 p.m. for LaPorte County in Indiana.

    Flash flood warnings remained in effect in DuPage, Cook and Will counties until 2:30 a.m.

    Several cars were trapped under a viaduct at 47th and Archer Streets on the city's Southwest Side as flooding waters filled the area.

    The storms caused a "power bump" at a Midway terminal around 8:20 p.m. Power was restored by 9 p.m., according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. 

    Ticketing counters, the food court and security checkpoints were briefly impacted but there was no impact to the airfield operations, the department said. ComEd is investigating the cause of the outage.

    ComEd said 9,000 Chicago customers are experiencing outages due to the storm. Those numbers climb to 10,500 in the southern region, which was expected to be hit hardest. Across Illinois, 21,000 outages were documented, according to the company.

    Track the storms with our Interactive Radar.

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