Metra restores service to UP-Northwest Line after flash floods strike Northwest suburbs

June 26, 2013 8:44:43 PM PDT
The Chicago area is drying out tonight after severe flooding caused by heavy storms. Some areas recorded six inches of rain.

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With the creek rising, Buffalo Grove firefighters whipped out inflatable rafts, rescuing 9 residents, including Fred Borgardt.

"I knew I couldn't do anything," said Borgardt.

Borgardt, who has suffered four strokes and uses a cane, loaded into a boat with the help of firefighters.

"They assured me everything was going to be all right. And I put my faith in them," said Borgardt.

And so did his neighbors, who are still pumping their flooded crawl space tonight. Firefighters rescued Erin Cooney and her 2-year-old son.

In Barrington, crews searched by air, boat and land after a witness spotted a man and his dog adrift in Flint Creek.

On Wednesday night, after several hours, firefighters say they're confident no one is in the water.

Heavy rain shuts down travel across Chicago area

Metra said it restored service to the McHenry branch of the Union Pacific-Northwest line as of 10 p.m. Wednesday night. Trains will operate on schedule during the Thursday morning rush hour, according to Metra.

The intense rain that swept through the area this morning washed away parts of the shoulder between the Crystal Lake and McHenry stops. Trains on the McHenry branch have been cancelled the rest of the day.

"They said you guys can get off and walk or call somebody for a ride. It happens to be along a bike path out here, so those of us who couldn't get a ride started walking," said Mark Wallner, Metra passenger.

There were long delays on other parts of the UP-Northwest line because of standing water, which also interrupted communications.

The rain came down in sheets, with the downpour starting before dawn.

It made the morning commute a nightmare for people on the Edens Expressway, which had to be shut down in both directions at Touhy.

"Got to Pratt and a couple of cars made it through. The car behind me that's stuck, did not, and I thought I had enough clearance to get through. Turns out I didn't. So state police, fortunately, were able to put us off to the side. But it's been absolutely brutal," Louis Cohen said.

"Well, we were on the Edens all the way from Grayslake, Gurnee and we got stopped about five miles north of the Touhy Exit," Raul Martinez said.

"Usually this commute is 5-10 minutes. Been a rough morning," Maria Nano said. "It has for everyone. But just practice patience. That's all we can do right now."

At O'Hare International Airport, over 200 flights were canceled as of Wednesday evening and other flights were delayed up to an hour. Only minor cancellations and delays were reported at Midway Airport.

The heavy rain appears to be over, and water is now receding. However, several flood advisories are in effect for the area. A Flash Flood Warning is in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday for Boone, Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

Wednesday was the third day in a row that the Chicago area has dealt with major weather- and more storms are possible Thursday.

But by the Blackhawks parade on Friday, things could shape up into a decent day.


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