Chicago struggles with flooding, power outages

Chicago-area residents were struggling Tuesday with flooding of a major thoroughfare as well as power outages at hundreds of thousands of homes in the aftermath of violent thunderstorms that spawned torrential rains and hurricane-like wind gusts.

Elsewhere in the Midwest, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said rising flood weathers, which made 11 locks and dams impassable, forced the closure of the Mississippi River from Bellevue, Iowa, to Saverton, Mo.

The late Monday storms, coming almost one year after a violent derecho pounded Chicago, may have also generated several small tornadoes that left damaged buildings.

Winds, reaching as high as 86 miles an hour -- the equivalent of a Category-1 hurricane -- also knocked down trees across the city.

The city was still battling flood water generated by heavy rain at the height of the storm. At one point, Midway Airport registered nearly an inch of rain in just 7 minutes, according to WGN's Weather Blog.

Parts of Interstate-90 near O'Hare Airport was covered with as much as a foot of water Tuesday morning, playing havoc with commuters and travelers.

With all but one lane of I-90 completely shut down at Mannheim Road, many travelers left their cars and tried to walk to the airport with their luggage. Authorities urged commuters to try alternate routes to the airport, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Some 225,000 homes in the area were still without power early Tuesday, according to ComEd, the Tribune reports. Most of the outages occurred in the region south of the city, affecting about 184,000.

Flights were also hard hit by the storms, with more than 450 flights canceled out of O'Hare Airport for the first round o bad weather, and delays of up to two hours at Midway.


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