A storm moving through the Chicago area dropping heavy rain has prompted flood warnings from the National Weather Service and closed the Taste of Chicago on Saturday.
Thunderstorms began moving through north and northwest suburbs late Wednesday morning, bringing wind gusts of up to 45 mph, frequent lightning strikes, and occasional heavy downpours.
Though some of the flooding from Monday’s thunderstorms has receded, the Des Plaines River was still overflowing its banks on Wednesday, and the North Branch of the Chicago River was near flood stage in some areas, with more rain on the way Wednesday evening.
High winds have subsided a bit since Thursday’s storm, when four tornadoes might have touched down in central Illinois, but dangerous winds will persist through the afternoon, and gusts of up to 45 mph are likely on Friday.
As wet as it has been in the Chicago area, Lake County Emergency Management Coordinator Kent McKenzie said it has been drier than anticipated in Wisconsin, where both rivers originate.
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued this morning for Boone, McHenry and Winnebago counties in the far northwestern suburbs. A flood warning is also in effect in parts of Lake County.
A high wind advisory that had been in place for parts of the Chicago area for much of the day has been cancelled, but a lakeshore flood warning remains in effect until early Wednesday, due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
As Hurricane Sandy barrels down on the East Coast, Chicago is also feeling its effects, with flights and trains cancelled and people being urged to stay away from the lakefront due to a flood warning.
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.
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.
Residents who were devastated by flooding more than two years ago, are keeping a close eye on rising Little Calumet River, following relentless rains over the past two days.
The cold weather that plagued last week is behind us at last, but a wet and rainy week lies ahead.