Flooding has closed the Edens, Eisenhower and Kennedy expressways in the Chicago area as a storm that dropped more than five inches of rain since Wednesday continues to soak the region.
The Edens Expressway is closed between Foster and Touhy avenues and between Winnetka and Willow roads, and the Eisenhower Expressway in both directions between North Avenue and York Road and westbound at Mannheim Road, Illinois State Police said.
The southbound Kennedy Expressway is closed at Addison Street, police said.
Flooding along the Chicago River and other low-lying areas also closed parts of North Side thoroughfares: Foster Avenue between Pulaski and Central Park avenues, Petersen between Pulaski Road and Kedvale Avenue, and Elston Avenue at Kilpatrick Avenue.
The Chicago Transit Authority is rerouting buses along roads that travel over rivers and under viaducts, depending on the extent of flooding and standing water. Details about their reroutes are available on Twitter. Metra also listed delays or stopped trains on 8 of its lines – details are available at their website.
On the South Side, flooding closed the intersection of 95th Street and Stony Island Avenue with water reaching the roofs of cars. One man drove into the water and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, police said.
Also closed is 71st Street between Cottage Grove Avenue and St. Lawrence Avenue under the Interstate 90 viaduct and the intersection of 63rd Street and Dorchester Road. Water could be seen bubbling from manhole covers along Lower Wacker Drive.
Illinois State Police also reported standing water this morning on Interstate 57 northbound at 167th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway northbound at 87th Street. Toll road district police, coving interstates 88, 90, 294 and 355 reported no standing water as of about 5:40 a.m.
Lombard Acting Village President Bill Ware declared the town a disaster area and advised residents not to travel because of the number of cars stalled in flooded streets.
Glenbard High School District 87 and Lombard Elementary District 44 closed schools Thursday because of the weather.
The weather also forced road closures in suburban Aurora: Farnsworth Avenue between Indian Trail and Mountain Street, Broadway Avenue between Pierce Street and the post office, 75th between Ogden Avenue and Illinois Route 59, and South Eoloa Road between Montgomery Road and 87th Street.
More than 5.1 inches of rain fell in Yorkville in the last 24-hours, according to early reports provided by weather spotters to the weather service. Just less than 4 inches fell in Streator.
More than 2 inches of rain was recorded at O’Hare International Airport as of 1 a.m., according to Matt Friedlein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Rain is expected to continue throughout the day, and the Des Plaines River is expected to reach record levels in Des Plaines and Riverside today, according to the National Weather Service.
“It means the river over its banks in a lot of areas … when the river reaches its maximum height because of this rainfall event, that’s expected to be at levels it hasn’t reached before on record at Des Plaines and Riverside,” he said. “Record levels.”
More than 2.2 inches was recorded in Waukegan and 2.14 inches fell in Aurora, Friedlein said.
The rain is expected to continue throughout the day, with the potential for tornadoes as far north as Kankakee to the Far South Side and severe thunderstorms throughout the Chicago region.
As of 3:15 a.m., temperatures downstate had reached into the upper 60s and lower 70s.
“If that type of warm air can surge itself northward, that dividing line will be pretty sharp and be a focus for potentially severe storms later today,” Friedlein said.
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