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For some flooded fans, it’s no contest: Blackhawks come first

The heavy rains brought more than high water to some parts of the Chicago.

They also brought hockey fans a quandary: would flooded fans choose to keep battling the deluge, or pause to watch the Chicago Blackhawks battle the Tampa Bay Lightning, with the Stanley Cup at stake?

For Dwana Delacerna, 48, a Cook County probation officer and blogger who lives in Pilsen, it was an easy choice.

Her basement flooded just before puck drop Monday night, but she wasn’t going the miss the game.

“Once I saw it, I was like, forget it — I’m going to enjoy the Hawks,” she said Tuesday morning.

Two feet of water could not dampen her experience. And, she knew, there would be time to deal with it after the game.

“I’m just happy our Hawks brought it home and I wasn’t going to let any weather interfere with that.”

The weather did interfere with other things, and perhaps made it harder for other fans to make it home in time for the start of the game, as parts of the western branch of the CTA Blue Line and half of the Eisenhower Expressway were shut down for awhile due to high water.

Blue Line service was suspended between the Forest Park and Cicero stations for several hours because of standing water, the transit agency said.

A bicyclist rode through Monday’s heavy rain Monday in Chicago. | Craig M. Newman / Sun-Times
A bicyclist rode through Monday’s heavy rain Monday in Chicago. | Craig M. Newman / Sun-Times

Both directions of the Eisenhower Expressway were flooded between Des Plaines and Harlem. Westbound lanes were open late Monday while eastbound lanes were expected to reopen early Tuesday.

Airlines at O’Hare International Airport canceled about 815 flights as of 8:40 p.m., while most flights were being delayed two hours minutes or more, according to the city Dept. of Aviation.

At Midway Airport, about 45 flights had been canceled and some flights were running 90 minutes late or more, according to the department. Travelers should contact their airlines before heading to the airports.

A tornado warning was issued earlier Monday afternoon after a storm near Hillside showed rotation, but the warning was called off about 5:11 p.m., the weather service said. Strong winds and heavy rain are the main threats to the area now, according to forecasters.

A tornado touched down in a rural area of Will County on Monday evening as a powerful round of thunderstorms brought heavy rain and flooded streets to the Chicago area.

The tornado made contact with the ground about 7:35 p.m. in a rural area of Will County near the Kankakee County border, National Weather Service meteorologist Gino Izzi said.

The rural area is east of the small town of Symerton, Izzi said. Further details were not yet known, and authorities could not immediately say whether any structures were hit.

Some locations in the city of Chicago are already starting to flood, emergency officials said Monday evening.

Several viaducts and the intersection of Archer Avenue and 47th Street in the Brighton Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side are not passable, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

The viaduct in the 4600 block of West Division is also flooded, the fire department said.

A distress call from a boat on Lake Michigan also reported a water spout about five miles east of Hyde Park, the weather service said. The boaters were all fine, officials told the NWS.

Drivers navigate a flooded roadway Monday afternoon in west suburban Elmhurst. | Network Video Productions
Drivers navigate a flooded roadway Monday afternoon in west suburban Elmhurst. | Network Video Productions

The city of Chicago has canceled all outdoor events in Millennium Park tonight, including the Downtown Sound concert series, according to the park’s official Twitter feed.

An official National Weather Service observer also spotted a funnel cloud about 5 p.m. near Midway Airport on the city’s south side.

In the suburbs, a trained weather spotter reported three feet of standing water near the intersection of Ann and Joliet streets in West Chicago in DuPage County.

Flash flooding in west suburban Aurora stranded a car near Illinois Avenue and Constitution Drive, where 1.5 feet of water was flowing on the roadway, the weather service said.

Sugar Grove in Kane County saw a full inch of rain in just 19 minutes. Closer to the city, west suburban Oak Park experienced 1.25 inches of water in just 45 minutes.

Several thoroughfares in Elmhurst were also closed because of flooding, including parts of Route 83, North Avenue at I-290, York Street, Spring Road and several side streets.

The entire northern Illinois area remains under a flash flood warning until 1 a.m. The National Weather Service warned this round of storms could bring heavy rain, flooding, wind gusts of up to 60 mph and frequent lightning.

The weather service said scattered storms will “likely grow more numerous” across the area this evening, with the area of heaviest activity moving south overnight and ending north of I-80 in the pre-dawn hours.

But before then as the slow-moving front approaches and crosses the area, “the atmosphere is extremely moist and and storms that form will have the potential to produce torrential downpours” with a possibility of of 2 or more inches of rain per hour, according to the weather service.

A pedestrian walks along a flooded street in west suburban Elmhurst Monday evening. | Network Video Productions
A pedestrian walks along a flooded street in west suburban Elmhurst Monday evening. | Network Video Productions

The storms could also pack frequent lighting strikes and isolated wind gusts of up to 60 mph.

The weather service warns that the Kankakee, Illinois and Iroquois rivers will remain in flood stage.

The chance of storms will diminish and it could actually be sunny on Tuesday, but there could be periodic storms from Tuesday night straight through the weekend, the weather service said.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek

A taxi makes its way through a heavy rainstorm on Chicago’s North Side. | Craig M. Newman / Sun-Times
A taxi makes its way through a heavy rainstorm on Chicago’s North Side. | Craig M. Newman / Sun-Times
Heavy rains flooded streets Monday in the Chicago area. | Craig M. Newman / Sun-Times
Heavy rains flooded streets Monday in the Chicago area. | Craig M. Newman / Sun-Times
A vehicle stranded in high water in Will County. | Network Video Productions
A vehicle stranded in high water in Will County. | Network Video Productions