Road closures were reported across the Chicago area starting Thursday morning as heavy rain flooded lanes on expressways and streets into the evening hours.
Interstate 57 saw lane closures in both directions at IL-83 and on Sibley Boulevard/147th Street. Left lanes were blocked in both directions due to high standing water. Two right northbound lanes were also closed at I-94 as drivers were urged to avoid the area.
Inbound I-94 also saw lane closures at 130th Street and I-290.
Flooding was reported along Lake Shore Drive, particularly near Lincoln Park. The North Avenue viaduct was reportedly closed and drivers were urged to use Fullerton as an alternate.
In Park Forest, Orchard Drive was closed in both directions at the underpass.
As much as two inches of rain fell in some locations in under two hours as scattered showers and thunderstorms were expected to dampen nearly all of the first day of summer in the Chicago area.
With rain already pouring down on much of the area Thursday morning, it was clear summer’s beginning would likely be a wash.
Nearly all of the metro area was expected to see scattered storms capable of producing moderate to heavy rain, though the heaviest rain was expected to fall along and north of Interstate 80.
Flash Flood Watches were in effect for roughly all of north central Illinois through Friday morning.
Several rounds of rain were possible with the storms through the afternoon and again overnight.
The storms could produce rainfall totals of up to 3 inches, forecaster warned.
And it doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon.
Both Friday and Saturday will see the chance for showers and thunderstorms one again but dry conditions move in Sunday.
And the rain isn’t the only story rinsing away summer’s celebration.
Temperatures Thursday were expected to stay in the low- to mid-70s for most, possibly even the 60s along the lakefront.
And that’s where they’ll likely stay through Saturday, when they’ll warm untio the upper-70s.
Finally, 80s are set to return on Sunday, just in time for Chicago’s Pride Parade festivities.