Parts of the Chicago area were bracing for approaching storms Monday night and heavy downpours with occasional lightning predicted for the region--but those who own homes on or near surrounding rivers were particularly anxious.
Fog descended on the area and continued into the afternoon ahead of the evening’s rainfall. Temperatures fluctuated from 38 degrees in Waukegan to near 60 in some parts of the city and south suburbs. Before the rain arrived, melting snow flowed into storm drains and the ground was still frozen.
That’s why the Little Calumet River, looking no more menacing than a meandering stream Monday evening, was expected to expand overnight.
A flood watch was issued for several Illinois rivers. Heavy rainfall, possibly up to 3 inches, is anticipated through Tuesday evening.
The Little Calumet River's gauge predicts a water level as high as 17 feet by Tuesday morning, knocking on the door of a 2008 flood disaster.
Police will inspect the Little Calumet hourly on the levee bridge between Munster and Hammond.
Town Manager Dustin Anderson said everything needed is ready inside the Public Works garage.
But the river gauge on the Kankakee predicts a possibly similar fate. There are also watchful eyes on the levels of the Fox River and the Des Plaines.
In preparation for possible flooding, homeowners should make sure their sump pump is working, pump discharge outlet is clear and that drains, downspouts and storm sewers are free of debris.
With levee construction completed in the Little Calumet and the Deep Tunnel to the north, there may not be a repeat of 2008. But even so Cook County Homeland Security is shared some flood safety tips.
Do not drive too fast in downpours, through flooded streets, around barricades or at night if possible.