Heavy downpours bring flooding to Chicago’s Northwest Side

CHICAGO (CBS) — So much rain fell so fast in the Chicago area Sunday that it overwhelmed the sewers, sending water into the streets and flooding viaducts. 

A viewer sent video near Irving Park and Kolmar showing a good Samaritan wading through high water to reach a woman who was stranded in her car. He pulled her out through a window and got her to higher ground. 

Luckily she was not hurt. 

In Melrose Park cars were stuck in deep rainwater that was not training. One person could be seen carrying a dog to safety because the water was just that deep.

There was similarly tricky driving, but no rescues, at the Foster and WInnemac viaducts at Ravenswood. 

Dan Carlson tweeted photos of the flooded and impassable areas. 

Another video shows water shooting out of a drain outside Diversey Bowl on the Northwest Side, where flooding remained a big problem Sunday evening. 


Urban Rivers

There was massive flooding near Lawrence and Pulaski that left debris all over the ground, trees down and one section roped off. 

It looked like a geyser spewing massive amounts of water down the street. A car nearby looked to be flooded. 

“It looks like 20 to 30 feet of water,” said Patel Kirankumar. 


A witness said around the same time in Bucktown a tarp on top of a drain gave way and then more geyser-like water shot into the air. 

All the water had to go somewhere, and across the northwest side of the city it was no different. Near Ravenswood one homeowner was forced to clean eight inches of water from his home.

“We got 8 inches of water in here and this is a lovely thing to work with especially on a Sunday for the Bears opening game. I would rather be watching the Bears and dealing with this clean up,” Scott Surma said. 

As for the City of Chicago, CBS 2 has reached out to multiple agencies, including the city water department and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, to try to figure out what caused this and if the city could have dont anything to prevent it. 

We did some digging, and it turns out Sunday was an overflow action day, according to the Water Reclmation District of Great Chicago. A few hours before the heavy rain started, the agency asked users to minimize use of water by holding off on doing laundry, doing dishes or showering. 

We do not know if a tweet from around 8 a.m. was related to the videos of water spouting from the sewers recorded later in the morning.

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