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Nearly 20,000 without power in Cook County as storms whip up 48 mph gusts, dump 3-4 inches of rain in some areas

Before the latest round of storms, the Chicago area had been relatively dry this season, measuring 7 inches below the annual average rainfall by late October.

A jogger gets hit with a high wave Monday afternoon on the Lakefront Trail near West Fullerton Avenue on the North Side.
A jogger gets hit with a high wave Monday afternoon on the Lakefront Trail near West Fullerton Avenue on the North Side.
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Nearly 20,000 people were without power Monday as storms whipped up strong winds and dumped more than two inches of rain in Chicago, which has seen a relatively dry season so far.

The brunt of the storms hit mid-morning with peak gusts of 45 mph at O’Hare International Airport and 48 mph Midway, according to the National Weather Service. More than 2 inches of rain fell in Chicago while some west and southwest suburbs reported over 3 and 4 inches.

By mid-morning, more than 19,000 Cook County residents were without power, ComEd spokeswoman Luz Bottecchia said. Since storms began Sunday, more than 89,000 ComEd customers have lost power.

Electricity had been restored to 81% of them by noon Monday. Outages in Chicago peaked earlier with 33,000 people without power.

The weather service issued a lakeshore flood advisory until 7 p.m. Monday. It warned of waves between 12 to 16 feet high. Lakeshore paths were closed from Fullerton Avenue to Ohio Street, and from 47th to 51st streets due to high waves, according to the city officials. The underpasses at Oak Street, Chicago Avenue and Division Street were also blocked.

A wind advisory expires 3 p.m. in Chicago, according to the weather service.

The Chicago area has been relatively dry this season, measuring 7 inches below the annual average rainfall by late October: around 32 inches, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Birk.

“We had a pretty active period (of snow) in February, but we’ve had a pretty dry period after that — spring into summer — and we’ve built up these precipitation deficits,” Birk said. “Most of Chicago has been pretty dry.”

The wind and rain was expected to ebb by Monday afternoon and evening, Birk said. Tuesday and Wednesday should be dry before another round of rain hits Thursday, he said.