Dear Tom,
I grew up in Chicago’s East Rogers Park neighborhood and remember some very heavy rains that flooded our apartment building’s courtyard. It would have been in the fall in the early or middle 1950s. Can you shed any light on this?

Thanks, Karen A., Dallas

Dear Karen,
Without a doubt you are remembering October 1954, to this day, the city’s wettest October on record. The month recorded an official 12.06 inches of rain with most of it falling early in the month. During the morning of Oct. 3, thunderstorms dumped nearly 4 inches of rain that produced widespread flooding of basements and viaducts. Less than a week later devastating floods returned as Midway Airport recorded 6.72 inches of rain in a span of 48 hours between Oct. 9-11. West and south portions of the metropolitan area got 10 to 12 inches. Several Loop buildings were flooded, and the Chicago River rose so high that numerous bridges were inoperable.