Northern Suburbs Hit Hard By Heavy Rains, Flooding

CHICAGO (CBS) — Heavy storms that rolled through Tuesday night and Wednesday morning left behind significant flooding in some northern suburbs, leaving many basements inundated with water, and some roads closed to traffic.

According to the National Weather Service, some suburbs got 4 to 7 inches of rain from the storms before dawn – Round Lake Park got 7.13 inches, Mundelein got 6.75 inches, Lake Bluff got 5.38 inches, Lake Villa got 5.31 inches, and Fox Lake got 4.46 inches. Even more rain was falling throughout Wednesday morning, with some areas getting another 1 to 2 inches.

In Mundelein, it seemed at times like piling on; everything from rain, high winds, thunder and lightning, and hail.

Mundelein Fire Chief Bill Lark said crews evacuated about 20 people from a senior living apartment complex at Route 45 and Division, due to flooding at the one-story building.

“We brought an inflatable boat. It assists us in removing people. It’s easier to get them through the water, safer for the residents, and we take them to the dry area,” Lark said.

Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther said there were several inches of water in those apartments.

Several roads also were closed in Mundelein, including Route 45, Hawley Street, and Allanson Road.

“People should probably stay off the roadways if they can at this point in time. Traffic will be difficult this morning, obviously,” he said.

Lark said crews also would be going through town to check on several streets that have been flooded, and to determine if any other residents need assistance. He said approximately 100 homes have been affected by flooding. The chief also said people should stay away from downed power lines, and keep out of flooded basements.

In nearby Libertyville, the fire department received several calls of flooded basements, broken window wells, and flooded streets. Officials were asking for patience, as they expect a slow morning commute.

“We do have some standing water in areas throughout the village. We’re asking residents to use caution when they’re traveling. Be patient. There’s going to be a lot of closed roads, so traffic’s going to be detoured,” Libertyville Fire Chief Rich Carani said. “So things are going to be slow. Patience will be well-appreciated this morning.”

Flooding and other storm damage in Libertyville also halted Metra trains in both directions on the Milwaukee District North Line. Metra said service was suspended Wednesday morning between Fox Lake and Libertyville, after a tree fell on the tracks in Libertyville, flooding an interlocking system on tracks in unincorporated Rondout, and a washout near Route 120.

Metra said, once the flooding recedes, crews will inspect the interlocking to determine if any switches must be replaced. Machinery also was being sent to the washed out tracks to make repairs. Spokesman Michael Gillis said it was unclear how the problems would affect the evening rush hour.

In Gurnee, officials were watching the Des Plaines River level, and said they were in emergency flood response mode, offering sandbagging materials to residents at the Gurnee Public Works facility.

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