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Flood Waters Persist For Chicagoland

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The swollen Des Plaines River reaches near the Madison Street Bridge near Maywood and Oak Park. (Photo courtesy Scott Davidson)

The swollen Des Plaines River reaches near the Madison Street Bridge near Maywood and Oak Park. (Photo courtesy Scott Davidson)

UPDATED: 4/19/2013 10:30 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Residents in flooded areas across Chicago are facing a daunting task as they deal with rising water from this week’s massive rains.

The Des Plaines River was at near-record flood stage, CBS 2’s Ed Curran reports. Many homes and businesses are under water, WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports.

Many residents say the flooding is the worst they have seen.

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Across the region, up to seven inches of rain fell in about a 24 hour period.

The north branch of the Chicago River is also above flood stage, causing problems for residents on the Northwest Side, especially for Albany Park.

In Chicago, the Office Of Emergency Management said the city took 2,398 calls for flooding. The three wards most impacted were the 21st Ward (Gresham) on the South Side, the 39th Ward (Albany Park) and the 41st Ward (near O’Hare).

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports the water levels there are starting to recede but the currents are still moving quickly and water remained in the neighborhood at 6:45 a.m.

In Des Plaines, neighborhood after neighborhood is flooded. In downtown, the main streets look like rivers.

Flood warnings remain in effect for the Chicago area.

In Forest View, about 700 residents were evacuated after a levee broke along the Des Plaines River.

Downstate in Marseilles, 1,500 residents were evacuated as a levy was breached along the Illinois River.

In Lisle, over seven inches of rain fell, swamping much of the suburb. Dozens of people spent the night in shelters.

On Friday morning in Hillside, CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli found an overflowing retention pond created small rapids between two homes, as water spilled onto the street.

Many people across the area had to be rescued by boat.

The deluge swamped Chicagoland on Thursday prompted Gov. Quinn to declare a state of emergency.

“We are in a state of emergency in our state,” said Quinn, who added rivers across Illinois were at record flood stage.

The action will allow the state to access federal resources including generators, pump systems, sandbags and additional funds.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle later issued a disaster proclamation for her county.

Nearly every suburb and the city was impacted by the flood, but some were hit harder than others.

The flooding shut down major expressways on Thursday morning, submerged hundreds of roads and homes and created havoc for residents across northeast Illinois. The Deep Tunnel flood control system was filled to capacity with 2.3 billion gallons of water, forcing officials to open the flood gates, sending storm water into Lake Michigan.

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