Rain Holds Off for Blackhawks Celebration

When it came to Friday's victory celebration of the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks, Mother Nature did fans a favor by holding off the rain.

But the day-to-day threat of rain continued.

Rain began falling at about 6 p.m. Friday, well after fans had cleared the streets and exited Grant Park from the celebrations earlier in the day.

The day started with clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. The mercury rose to about 80 degrees by the midday hour.

Storms during the Thursday evening commute prompted a temporary ground stop at O'Hare International Airport, with all inbound flights being held at their origin until the weather passed. Officials at the field reported some delays and travelers were advised to maintain contact with their airlines for updated flight information.

Those storms came after a hazy, mild and humid morning and early afternoon. The official high temperature recorded at O'Hare topped out at 90 degrees.

Models earlier in the day showed the potential for severe storms with large hail, damaging winds and brief but heavy rain. All of it was unwanted news for those who dealt with blocked roadways, halted trains and delayed flights from Wednesday morning's fast-moving storms.

Those storms forced part of the Edens Expressway to close at Pratt Avenue, and Edens off-ramps at Willow Road were shut down for standing water, causing big delays. Several trains were stopped as well because of signal problems.

As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, several towns reported streets closed, including Northwest Highway at the "S" curve in Des Plaines, all of Western Avenue and the Cherry Road underpass in Northbrook, Wheeling Road between Dundee and Hintz in Wheeling, Smith and Colfax in Palatine, and Highland and Kirchoff in Arlington Heights.

The National Weather Service reported 6.15 inches of rain fell in Cary Tuesday and Wednesday, 6.63 in Lake Zurich, 4.50 in Crystal Lake and 4.40 in McHenry.

A Flash Flood Warning was issued until 11:30 a.m. Wednesday for northern Cook, Lake and McHenry counties ahead of more storms expected throughout the day.

The Fox River began experiencing minor flooding in the alerted areas around 10 a.m. Sunday and was expected to continue to flood, rising to near 10.3 feet by midnight Monday.

Storms on Monday knocked out power to tens of thousands of Commonwealth Edison customers and brought down trees and tree limbs across the entire metropolitan area.

Immediately following the storms, ComEd officials put the number of customers without power at about 200,000. By 3 p.m. Wednesday, all but about 4,600 customers were back online, the utility said.

Monday's storms briefly prompted NWS officials to issue tornado warnings for DeKalb, Kane, Kendall and LaSalle counties and also led to a temporary ground stop at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. At Midway International, officials there cleared the grounds and ordered travelers away from terminal windows.

Survey teams from the NWS later said an EF-0 tornado touched down in Lee County, southwest of DeKalb.

From the suburbs to the North Shore to the city's south side, the storm packed a punch and brought down trees and tossed about anything not fixed to the ground. There were separate reports that a tree had fallen on a car in Sandwich, Ill., and that a tractor trailer had overturned on Interstate 80 near Peru.

Closer to Chicago, the weather delayed several trains on at least two Metra lines.

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