Storms cause flooding in Chicago, northwest Indiana


The same storm system that prompted a tornado watch in central Indiana until 5:00 pm Thursday caused street flooding in Chicago.

Parts of the Eden and Eisenhower Expressways were shut down, and over 300 flights at the city's two airports were canceled because of severe weather.

The storm front also dumped heavy rains on the northwestern corner of Indiana, flooding streets in Hammond , Munster and other communities.

Two inches of rain has fallen in some areas, raising concerns about flooding along the Little Calumet River. Crews along the river front say they began filling sandbags at 5:00 am.

Indiana State Police say the Cline Avenue exit of the Indiana Toll Road was closed due to high water. Indiana's transportation department warns people not to drive though flooded areas.

Also, a flood fighting drill scheduled for Friday in Gary had to be canceled because of the real thing Thursday. There already was plenty of practice to be had.

The drill was to be held Friday morning near Indiana University Northwest. The Times of Munster reports campus authorities, the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission and the city of Gary were set to participate.

But real-life flooding already was occurring throughout Lake County on Thursday. The National Weather Service says Gary, Merrillville, Highland and Dyer each had received more than 1.5 inches of rain by 10:15 a.m. CDT.

Sandbagging was occurring along the Little Calumet River, and Indiana State Police say an exit off the Indiana Toll Road was closed due to high standing water.

The storm is part of a system crossing the middle of the nation from Canada to Texas. The National Storm Prediction Center warned tornadoes, 80 mph winds and 2-inch hail could hit Indiana.

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