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Chicago Flooding: Where to Avoid in Lincoln Square

The nonstop downpour has pools of water affecting drivers and pedestrians across the city. See what locals are saying and seeing in the neighborhood, plus a video of a geyser.

Updated Thursday 8 p.m.

Lincoln Square didn't suffer from sinkholes like on the South Side or from floodwaters overtaking cars at the Belmont underpass in Downer’s Grove, but issues still affected local residents when almost four inches of rain fell in Chicago

Chicago had received 3.77 inches of rain as of 9:45 a.m. Thursday. That's compared with 6.69 inches—the most in metropolitan area, which fell in Oak Brook. A flood watch claiming "widespread flooding is likely" remains in effect for Chicago through Friday morning, said National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seeley.

DuPage County saw the worst of the storm, she confirmed. But that doesn't mean we don't have severe flooding here in Lincoln Square. 

Jim Poole, Ald. Ameya Pawar's (47th) community specialist said residents called the office concerned with standing water in the ward. As of Thursday afternoon, 21 reports have come in, all in different locations. 

Earlier Thursday morning, a geyser erupted on Lawrence Avenue at Ravenswood, causing water to flow up from the street. Poole said the manhole cover was re-secured before the road was reopened.

Aldermen and those from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District are also keeping an eye on areas near the Chicago River. The MRWD opened all locks on the North Branch to prevent more flooding, temporarily causing the river to flow backwards, officials said.

Drain restrictors caused some of the standing water in the neighborhood. Those blockers were installed to slow the flow of water and prevent basements from flooding. If drains remain clogged for more than 12 hours, residents can report it to the alderman's office. 

Patch readers have reported the following intersections as having heavy standing water: 

  • Lawrence and Ravenswood
  • Leland and Rockwell
  • Albany and Carmen 

The National Weather Service predicts a 40 percent chance of rain on Friday, with more rain early next week. 

The heavy rain could mean that floods reach record levels, Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, told the Chicago Tribune.

“Based on the forecasting right now, we expect to meet and exceed flood levels — historic flood levels — that we’ve seen across Illinois, in excess in Chicago of what we saw in 1986 and 1987," he said. "So record flood stages are absolutely possible."

Thursday afternoon, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn declared a state a emergency because of the widespread flooding throughout the state. 

In an email to residents, Pawar said the Chicago River has topped its banks at Albany Avenue in nearby Albany Park. Residents should avoid travel in that area. 

Have you spotted flooding around the North Side? Tell us in the comments, or add a photo to our photo gallery. 

 

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