Flooding spawned by as much as 5 inches of rain closed the Edens, Eisenhower and Kennedy expressways this morning as a second wave of thunderstorms moves through the Chicago area.
The Edens Expressway was 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 was closed at Addison Street, police said.
The Kennedy was partially reopened by 7:40 a.m. but the Edens and the Eisenhower remained closed, according to the Illinois state police. Travel times during the morning rush were running at least two hours or longer in some areas.
Flooding along the Chicago River and across low-lying areas also closed parts of North Side thoroughfares: Foster Avenue between Pulaski and Central Park avenues, Petersen Avenue between Pulaski Road and Kedvale Avenue, and Elston Avenue at Kilpatrick Avenue.
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 was 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 on Interstate 57 northbound at 167th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway northbound at 87th Street. Toll road state police, covering interstates 88, 90, 294 and 355 reported no standing water as of about 5:40 a.m.
A sinkhole opened up this morning in the 9600 block of South Houston Avenue in the South Deering neighborhood on the Southeast Side, swallowing three cars. Officials would not say whether it was related to the weather.
In Libertyville, part of the high school building sunk a foot into the ground, according to the Fire Department. No one was injured, but the department had no other details. The school is located in the 700 block of Park Avenue in the northern suburb.
The Chicago Transit Authority was rerouting many of its buses because of flooding, particularly on roads near the river and under viaducts. Details about their reroutes are available on Twitter. Metra also listed delays or stopped trains on eight of its lines because of the weather or signal problems. Details are at their website.
The storms have also conceled and delayed hundreds of fights. At O'Hare International Airport, more than 300 flights have been canceled and more than 150 delayed. At Midway Airport, around 10 flights have been canceled and more than 40 delayed.
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 National Weather Service. Just less than 4 inches fell in Streator. More than 2.2 inches was recorded in Waukegan and 2.14 inches fell in Aurora.
The Chicago Weather Center reported the following rainfall totals as of 7 a.m.: Wilmette 5.08 inches, Wheaton 4.91 inches, Hillside 4.81 inches, Elmhurst 4.60 inches.
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 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."
The weather service said storms are expected to rake the area rain is expected to continue throughout the day, and that tornadoes were possible as far north as Kankakee to the Far South Side.