Residents and officials at North Park University in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood near the Chicago River contend with knee-deep water in their basements and streets. (Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune)

"I feel really bad for all those people whose homes have flooded," she said.

Naperville was providing sand and bags for residents in flooded areas.  Taylor Erdman, 32, of Chicago, filled sand bags this morning for a tenant in the Spring Hill subdivision in Naperville who has a flooded basement.

“I’m just trying to stop the bleeding,” he said.

In Libertyville, Tom Barry unloaded sandbags from the back of his Jeep Cherokee as the rain continued to pour.

He carried them to the back of his house, where he stacked them on top of a 2-foot-tall stonewall that surrounds a patio that overlooks Lake Minear.  At 10 a.m., the water’s edge had crept to within 40 feet of Barry’s house. A sump pump sat on the patio, ready to be turned on.

On the northeast side of the lake, water rushed over a berm that separates it from the Des Plaines River. Docks and retaining walls along the banks were submerged underneath the rising water.

“I’m surprised that it came up so fast,” said Barbara Barry, Tom’s wife. “But this is the third time this has happened. I think we’ve learned how to deal with it a little bit.”

Officials in Lake County reported that More than 100 roads were impassable.
In Hillside, the Oak Ridge Nursing Home in the 500 Block of North Wolf Road was being evacuated because of flooding, according to Hillside Police Chief Joe Lukaszek. He said more than 100 people were being moved out of the nursing home.

Several apartment buildings were also being evacuated along the 500 block of North Wolf Road and the 600 block of North Wolf Roads, Lukaszek said.

No injuries have been reported, though major roads like Mannheim, Wolf and Roosevelt were all flooded. "Every roadway is pretty much impassable," he said. "We're kind of like an island right now."

The Snow Valley Nursing Home in Lisle was being evacuated because of the rising East Branch of the DuPage River, and some other city residents had to be evacuated by boat.

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.

Stretches of Roosevelt Road were flooded. Cars were stranded on exit ramps from York Road to Roosevelt Road and on Finley, Highland and Meyers roads.

Acting Elmhurst Mayor Scott Levin has also declared a state of emergency in the city. He cited flooding, severe sewage back-ups in homes, overwhelmed resources and emergency personnel staffing.

There were also more than 100 school closures throughout the Chicago area.

Commuters coming in from the suburbs felt the frustration of a longer morning commute due to various highway closures and delays due to the rain.

Tinley Park resident Tracy Gerber said her normal 45 minute commute up I-57 from the south suburb took twice as long today thanks to stop-and-go traffic and flooding.

"I tried to leave early today and I'm still late," said Gerber, rushing to her job at Northwestern from a Streeterville public parking garage. "I've now got to run to work."

Crestwood resident Tom Vicich said his commute wasn't pretty.

"Even getting to the expressway took way longer this morning -- maybe 25 minutes longer to the Dan Ryan," Vicich said.

As Metra saw delays that reached over 100 minutes in some cases, it's new multi-million-dollar Train Tracker system proved unreliable. The system had mythical trains running on time as commuters hunkered down beneath umbrellas with no indication of when the next train might come.

In Elmhurst, where public school classes were cancelled, the usually packed Metra station was sparsely populated with people waiting for erratically running Union Pacific West Line trains.

Due to switching problems, at least five trains were stacked up west of Ogilvie Transportation Center, where they waited their turn to pull in and drop off morning commuters, a conductor on one of the trains said.
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