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After the Rain

By Chuck Sudo on Aug 24, 2007 1:47PM


To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, it's morning in Chicago, but not for long. The storms that wreaked havoc throughout the area are a faint memory, and we're left to clean up the mess as we wait for more storms to come today. The north and northwest sides of the city felt the brunt of the storm, with reports of trees being split by the high winds. Over 300,000 businesses and residents were left without electricity as power lines snapped.

As if that wasn't enough, the storms caused the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to open the locks to the North Shore Channel in Wilmette, allowing millions of gallons of raw and partially treated sewage to be dumped into Lake Michigan. It's the first time the locks have been opened because of flood waters in five years. So don't expect to go for a dip in the lake this weekend.

Yesterday's storms turned the evening rush into a test of wills. Folks waiting for the northbound train at the Clark/Lake Blue Line, already running single track in spots, last night were kept abreast with travel updates by CTA employees. Delays on Metra were even worse, with reports of debris on tracks, broken gates, and downed power lines on two of the lines. Flights at O'Hare and Midway were delayed as reports of tornadoes forced the evacuation of Elgin's regional air control center and O'Hare's control tower.

If National Weather Service forecasts hold up, some roads in Lake County will be under water but he time its over. That's to say nothing of the homeowners throughout the city who have had to bail out their basements all night.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Cagle.