By Kim Geiger
6:40 PM EDT, June 12, 2013
In response to an approaching storm system that could cause heavy winds and flash flooding, the city of Evanston has closed facilities and sent workers home early.
Northwestern University has also canceled classes, accoding to an alert from the school.
It’s a precaution that the city hasn’t had to take since the 2011 blizzard, said city spokesman Eric Palmer.
“We’re taking this seriously,” Palmer said. “This (storm) looks as if it’s going to come into the metropolitan area during rush hour. We want to make sure that we can get our staff home safely.”
The National Weather Service has warned that Evanston will be impacted by the severe weather system that is moving into Illinois. The system threatens to bring thunderstorms, straight line winds around 75 mph, hail and potential flash flooding.
The city has closed all of its facilities as of 3 p.m. and is closing all beaches. Officials are also calling around to construction sites to make sure that construction materials are tied down and cranes are secured before winds pick up, Palmer said. Most city employees have been sent home, but some were held back in case the storms take down trees or cause flooding, Palmer said.
The city of Evanston employs about 1,000 people who live throughout the Chicago area and as far as Wisconsin and Indiana, Palmer said.
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