Torrential rains pound region, flood roads, ground flights - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

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PHOTOS: Torrential rains flood roads, ground flights

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Flooding at GOlfview and Pinetree in Lake Zurich. Photo courtesy of @joe_hutchings via Twitter. Flooding at GOlfview and Pinetree in Lake Zurich. Photo courtesy of @joe_hutchings via Twitter.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Torrential storms pounded the Chicago area Wednesday morning, dropping as much as 5 inches of rain in a three-hour span in some of the northern reaches of the metro region.

The downpour prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood watch and warning for most of Northeastern Illinois and parts of Northwest Indiana.

The waters flooded Lake Shore Drive, led to many area road closures, and shut down both the inbound and outbound lanes of the Edens Expressway.

Several cars on the Edens were stalled in standing water near Pratt Avenue in northwest suburban Niles after attempting to ford the waters, according to Illinois State Police. By about 10 a.m., the Edens was reopened to both northbound and southbound, state police said.

Meanwhile, service on Metra's Union Pacific/Northwest Line was also suspended due to communication problems.

Flights in and out of the city's two airports were affected throughout the morning. According to the city Department of Aviation, flights at O'Hare International Airport were experiencing delays of an hour or more, and more than 170 flights have been canceled. At Midway Airport some two dozen flights have been delayed more than an hour and as of about 10:30 a.m., more than 15 flights have been canceled.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District reported that some of the tunnels that comprise the 109-mile Tunnel and Reservoir Plan system were filling quickly. The Mainstream Tunnel has reached 92 percent capacity, while the Des Plaines Tunnel has reached 60 percent capacity and the Calumet Tunnel 4 percent, according to a statement about 10 a.m. The tunnels hold 2.7 billion gallons of water.

When the Chicago-area waterway levels are higher than Lake Michigan and predetermined elevations are reached, the MWRD opens control structures to move as much water as possible out of the system, providing protection from overbank flooding, as well as more capacity for stormwater. As of 9:45 a.m., the MWRD said, no gates have been opened to release water to Lake Michigan.

As of about noon, some 9,100 ComEd customers throughout the area were still without power. The greatest number of those were in the south region, where 7,900 customers were still powerless. In Chicago, 290 were without power; in the north region it was 650, and there were 190 in west region.

There were 600 utility and contractor crews working to restore service Wednesday, ComEd said. The utility expects to restore all remaining customers affected by Monday's storm by Wednesday night, with a possible exception for a few pockets in the most heavily-damaged south suburban communities. Restoration times could be impacted if additional storms occur later Wednesday.

ComEd said that nearly 300,000 customers who had their power affected since Monday by storms have been restored.

While rain fell across the entire area Wednesday, the north and northwest suburbs were saturated the most.

In northwest suburban Des Plaines, Golf Road from River Road to East River Road is closed, the town reported. Des Plaines has activated its Emergency Operations Center with all staff and the village's mayor attending. Its Public Works department has deployed sandbagging equipment, sand and sandbags at the following locations:

• Christ Church at Cora Street and Henry Avenue

• Big Bend Drive

• Howard Avenue and Cedar Street

• Public Works Facility

Also, as of 10 a.m., Oakton Community College was closed and traffic was being directed westbound on Golf Road and Central Road. The town anticipates additional road closures as the Des Plaines River rises to a 9.5 foot crest.

In Buffalo Grove, the village reports that in the last 24 hours, close to four inches of rain has fallen. The Buffalo Creek Reservoir is expected to overtop the spillway at some time Wednesday, which will create a secondary surge in Buffalo Creek, a release from the village said.

A full public works crew was on hand working on street-sweeping, storm inlet clearing and flood mitigation for the remainder of the day. The village says sandbags are available at the Public Service Center at 51 Raupp Boulevard for residents in need of flood break materials.

Parts of McHenry County were hit with 5.29 inches of rain in a three-hour period, beginning at 4 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Northwest suburban Crystal Lake saw 4.5 inches of rain during the period, the weather service said. And the northern half of Cook County saw about 4.2 inches.

Just to the south, O'Hare saw considerably less, with a little more than inch of rain falling during that period, according to the weather service.

The weather service issued a flash flood watch and warning for most of Northeastern Illinois and parts of Northwest Indiana.

In Glenview, Golf Road was closed east of Waukegan Road, as was Willow Road at Patriot Boulevard, because of flooding, according to eyewitness reports. Nearby, some roads were also closed because of flooding in NOrthbrook.

In McHenry County, the following roads have been closed because of rain, according to the county's emergency management department:

• Walkup/Crystal Lake Road between Anvil Road and Mason Hill Road

• Route 47, at Route 120, Lake and McConnell

The following McHenry County areas have water on pavement issues, the county says:

• Oak Grove Road and Ramer

• Terra Cotta and Prairie Ridge

• Route 23 and Kishwaukee Valley

• Route 176 and Terra Cotta

• Route 47 and Ware

• Route 14 and Hartland

• Route 176 and Behan

• Route 31, between McHenry and Crystal Lake

• Route 14 and Route 176

• Kishwaukee Valley and Hiawatha roads

• Charles Road east of Nelson Road

• Deerpass Road north of River Road

• Flemming Road just north of Country Club Road

• Oakgrove and Rammer roads

• Northwest Highway and Nimco

• Algonquin and Edwards roads

In Lake County, the following roads have been closed because of flooding issues:

• Near Deer Park, Quentin Road south of U.S. 12

• Cuba Road has lanes closed west of Ela Road due to water on the roadway

• Ela Road has lane closures at Lake-Cook Road due to flooding

• Near Barrington, lanes of U.S. 14 are closed between Lake-Cook Road and Route 59

• Also near Barrington, lanes of Lake-Cook Road are closed at IL Route 59 due to flooding

• Route 22 east of Route 59 has water on the pavement and motorists should expect "heavy delays" as a result

• Near Lake Barrington, Miller Road is closed east of Route 59 due to flooding.

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