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Chicago River Floods Riverwalk Construction Project

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Flooding from Monday night’s storm has forced a temporary delay on the project to renovate the Chicago Riverwalk downtown.

Work to expand the Riverwalk by creating a new walkway connection under the Dearborn Street bridge was put on hold Tuesday morning, after torrential rains raised the river levels significantly, leaving the construction area underwater.

A ladder used for the project was left floating near the Dearborn Street bridge, and the metal perimeter outlining the future Riverwalk was submerged.

The Chicago Department of Transportation said nothing was lost or ruined, so the work will only be delayed until the water can be drained or pumped out.

Officials said the Chicago River was two feet below flood stage as of 11 a.m.

That wasn’t the only flooding issue in Chicago overnight.

In Lakeview, streets and sidewalks near Diversey and Pine Grove flooded, and sent a deluge of water down steps leading into basement areas of some buildings.

Drivers still took the chance of driving down the street, though they moved very slowly through the standing water.

Water even flooded into a nearby 7-Eleven store. Rick Fistler said it was a tiring day at work after more than an inch of water covered the floors.

“I got here about 11:30 last night, and the guy that I was relieving said that it had just happened. So it was about an inch-and-a-half of water all over the floor, and all in the back, coming up out of the toilet back in the back,” he said. “It took me about four hours to mop it up.”

Tuesday morning, a couple condo buildings were still drying out. Resident Josh Luck said 1-2 inches of water covered the floor in the lobby, after seeping in from all the water flowing along the sidewalk overnight.

“Incredible. I mean it all happened within the two hours or whatever that I was trying to move, and it came fast,” he said.

A number of viaducts also flooded in the Gold Coast near Lake Shore Drive and LaSalle Drive. Some vehicles got stuck in the deep water when they risked trying to get through the flooding.

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