Severe storms hit the Chicago area overnight, dumping over 7 inches of rain and causing power outages, flight cancellations and flooded homes and roadways. As of Sunday morning, ten towns in Cook County have declared their communities as disaster area.
Westchester and Melrose Park were hit the hardest, filling some basements with up to four feet of water. Dave Ramos, executive director for Cook County Emergency Management, said he will recommend to the county’s president that all of Cook be declared a disaster area Monday.
Storms knocked out power to thousands of customers in northern and central Illinois, according to Ameren and ComEd.
“There is still a lot of flooding obviously,” Laura Micheli, a spokeswoman for the ComEd said. “In some areas they need to wait for water to recede before they’re able to restore power.”
The storms also caused cancellations of 200 flights at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport Saturday morning, according to Karen Pride of the Chicago Department of Aviation. No delays were reported at Midway International Airport.
The Chicago Park District closed all of the city’s beaches after flooding forced sewer water to be released into Lake Michigan.
“Our goal is to get the city back to normal as quickly as possible,” Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said at a news conference Saturday.