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Flood Threat Remains As More Storms Sweep In

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Oak Lawn Flooding

Brendan & Katie Schoeberl canoeing in Oak Lawn after the storms Thursday. (Credit: Regina Schoeberl)

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UPDATED 06/10/11 2:03 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Flood watches and warnings remain in effect across the Chicago area, a day after the region was hit with heavy rain that left basements and streets inundated.

More rain fell on Friday morning, and CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros reports more rain and storms are expected before the day is out.

This came on top of as many as 6 or 7 inches of rain that fell on Thursday morning.

A flood warning remains in effect until 5:30 p.m. for southern Cook, DuPage, Kane and DeKalb counties, all of Will, Lee and Kendall counties in Illinois, and parts of LaSalle County and lake and Porter counties in Indiana.

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Flood warnings also in effect for several rivers, including Thorn Creek in the southern suburbs. At 6:45 a.m. Friday, Thorn Creek was at 12.5 feet in Thornton, 2 1/2 feet above flood stage. Minor flooding was being reported, according to the National Weather Service.

Residents are watching the Little Calumet River in Northwest Indiana closely.

Along the Hammond-Munster border, workers are prepared to pour sand along the riverbanks at the Northcote Avenue bridge, as water levels there are just slightly below flood stage. Officials said the river levels were holding steady, or dropping slightly. However, the crews were on alert as more rain is forecast for later today.

In Munster, the Columbia Avenue bridge was closed this morning so crews could remove tree limbs that were jammed in the water at the bridge bed. Columbia is a key access route for ambulances to Community Hospital in Munster.

In 2008, hundreds of homes were damaged by massive flooding in Munster. Since then, larger levee walls have been constructed to keep the river water under control.

Flood warnings have also been issued for the DuPage River at Shorewood, the East Branch of the DuPage River in Bolingbrook, the Illinois River at Ottawa, Morris and LaSalle, the Hart Ditch in Dyer, Ind., the Fox River at Dayton, Ill., and the Kankakee River at Shelby and Momence.

The new round of showers and storms are sweeping in from the west, and will hit the Chicago areas during the morning hours. Glaros says the northern Chicago area and southern Wisconsin will be hit hardest by the coming storms.

There will be a break during much of the day, but yet another round of storms is expected Friday afternoon. Severe weather may be part of the second system.

Meanwhile, flooding continues on many area roadways. CBS 2’s Derrick Young reports roads in Orland Park have been hit particularly hard.

On Facebook, flood alerts have been posted on several community pages.

The Rogers Park and Boystown Facebook pages are both urging residents of the north lakefront neighborhoods to call 311 to report flooding at intersections or crosswalks.

“Walking into traffic to avoid pools of water is not fun and not safe!” the Facebook pages both say.

On Thursday, the heavy storms left many basements and streets flooded, particularly on the city’s South Side.

Dwain Easterling of the Roseland neighborhood saw his basement turn into something resembling a giant, dirty swimming pool. All his utility equipment was left floating.

“Everything was new,” Easterling told CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli. “I got a new washing machine and dryer, a new water heater, a new tank – everything’s a loss.”

Flooding also closed the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway at 87th Street Thursday.

Meanwhile, the weather was still causing trouble at O’Hare International Airport Friday morning.

As of about 7:15 a.m., the Chicago Department of Aviation reported 30 minute delays and 100 flight cancellations at O’Hare. No problems were reported at Midway International Airport.

Thousands of ComEd customers also remain without power after the storm.

The good news is the high for Friday is 72, unlike on Thursday when temperatures were in the 50s for most of the day.

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