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2011 Can Boast The Second-Wettest July In City’s History

Flooding in Park Ridge (CBS)

Flooding in Park Ridge (CBS)

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Updated 7/24/11 9:00 p.m.

CHICAGO (STMW) – Just one day after a deluge gave Chicago the wettest day in its history — for as far back as such records have been kept since 1871 — a morning storm made this month the second-wettest July in the past 120 years in the city’s recorded history.

A storm Saturday morning dumped 6.86 inches of rain on Chicago, making July 23 the wettest day on record in Chicago since 1871. A Sunday morning rain, which was heavier in the suburbs than in the city, was enough to make this month the second-wettest in Chicago history.

After Saturday’s storm, the total rainfall for July in Chicago was 8.86 inches, according to the National Weather Service. After Sunday’s rain that total rainfall increased to 9.04 inches, making it the second wettest July on record in Chicago, after 1889’s 9.56 inches of rain — and the month is not over yet.

Sunday’s storm prompted a flood warning and caused problems for several suburbs including Aurora and Naperville.

ComEd had more than 300 crews out working to restore power to customers who had lost power Sunday, ComEd spokeswoman Arlana Johnson said. Most of these were in the west and south suburbs, according to Johnson.

As of about 7 p.m. approximately 5,000 customers still were without power, ComEd spokesman Bennie Currie said. Those crews were still working through the evening to restore power, but the flooding in some areas has proven to be an obstacle to get to the places they need to in order to make those repairs.

The flood warning was in effect until 4 p.m. for southern Cook County, northern Will County and southern Kane and Kendall counties, according to the National Weather Service. By late afternoon, though, the only area where a flood warning was still in effect was for the East branch of the DuPage River at Bolingbrook, which affects Will County, according to the weather service.

The river was expected to keep rising to near 20.8 feet by Sunday evening, the weather service said. The river will fall below flood stage early Tuesday morning, according to the weather service.

Chicago police and fire officials reported no problems overnight and Sunday morning because of the most recent storm, but it was a different story in the suburbs.

Storm-related problems included fires and flooding Sunday in west suburban Aurora and Naperville.

As of 10 a.m. NWS radar indicated that two to three inches of rain fell this morning across the warning areas, with localized amounts of rain measures at four to five inches.

The heaviest rain fell from Little Rock, Boulder Hill, Lemont and Orland Park, according to the NWS.

Floodwaters were expected to gradually recede throughout the day.

The NWS said many south and southwest suburbs will experience flooding including: Bolingbrook; Calumet City; Chicago Heights; Dolton; Flossmoor; Frankfort; Glenwood; Homer Glen; Matteson; Joliet; Lansing; Lockport; Lynwood; Midlothian; Mokena; New Lenox; Olympia Fields; Orland Park; west suburban Oswego; Park Forest; Plano and Plainfield.

Throughout the city and suburbs this weekend the storms flooded basements and streets. Some automobile owners whose cars were parked on those flooded streets found their vehicles soaked inside after the flood waters had crept in, while alleys and driveways throughout the area became a resting place for water-damaged carpets and furniture.

DePaul University’s O’Hare campus on the Far Northwest Side of Chicago was closed Saturday and Sunday because of a power outage and flooded parking lots. Classes and other activities were scheduled to resume on the campus Monday morning.

Runoff from Sunday’s storm could cause flash flooding, and the weather service advises people to avoid walking or driving through standing water — especially at night when it is harder to recognize the depth.

Monday, cooler temperatures will move into the area. The high on Monday is only expected to reach 82 degrees, while the high could reach 85 degrees on Tuesday. Showers and thunderstorms could return to the area beginning Wednesday, according to the weather service.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.