Rains Pound the Chicago Area; Prepare for Next Time

July 24, 2010

This summer, when it rains, it pours.

Massive downpours in the Chicago area last night knocked out power to thousands, flooded hundreds of basements, closed down many streets and sections of three expressways, disrupted CTA service on several lines and forced the declaration of a state of emergency in one western suburb.

Heavy rains flooded this Chicago viaduct at West Fulton and North Talman overnight. Photo by Robert Kozloff

Areas of Chicago got between three and eight inches of rain Saturday morning, and officials had to use boats and helicopters to search for stranded residents in west suburban Westchester.

Firefighters had to help stranded people in Chicago after the rains flooded about 25 viaducts and close to 150 streets.

The storms closed much of the Eisenhower Expressway and parts of the Dan Ryan and Kennedy expressways.

Close to 160,000 homes lost electricity; ComEd officials are hoping for all power to be restored by Sunday morning.

Of course, the forecast for tonight calls for more heavy storms.

* * *

For those of you who walked down into your basement only to find unwanted rain water puddling your floor and ruining your stuff, I feel for you, as I’ve been there before. Too many times, as a matter of fact.

First Alert Battery-Operated Water Alarm

While we can’t always prevent a flood, the sooner you get to it, the quicker you can take control of the situation.

First Alert makes a battery-operated alarm that will alert you if there’s a leak. Just place the device near a source of water or where you know you tend to flood. The sooner you are alerted, the less damage you might incur.

Check out www.firstalert.com for more information.

Stay dry and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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