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Severe storms cause flooding, outages in Chicago

By the CNN Wire Staff
Two men push a stalled car through a flooded street Saturday in the Chicago, Illinois, area.
Two men push a stalled car through a flooded street Saturday in the Chicago, Illinois, area.
  • NEW: A flood warning remains in effect until 7 p.m.
  • Severe storms have caused thousands to lose power in Chicago
  • The storms have moved into downtown
  • Flooding has forced officials to close some roadways
  • Chicago
  • Floods

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) -- Severe overnight storms in the Chicago area caused power outages, flight cancellations and flooded homes and roadways.

About 50,000 ComEd customers were without electricity Saturday morning after lightning and heavy downpours pummeled the city overnight, said Laura Micheli, a spokeswoman for the utility.

It was unclear when power would be restored to those households because storms were still rolling through the area, she said. The outages started at about 6 p.m. (7 p.m. ET) Friday night.

CNN iReporter Nancy Holst of Lombard said her husband, who is a firefighter, responded to several calls overnight where he was working in waist-deep floodwaters. She said he took one look at her once-blooming garden now sitting under 6 inches of water and said, "That's nothing."

The storms caused damage through Chicago suburbs before moving into downtown in the morning, she said.

The bad weather also forced the cancellation of 200 flights at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport Saturday morning, according to Karen Pride of the Chicago Department of Aviation.

There were delays of up to one hour at the airport at midday, she said, but no delays were reported at Midway International Airport.

Pride said there was some airfield flooding at O'Hare Friday night, but flight operations were not affected. The National Weather Service in Illinois reported that at least 6.3 inches of rain fell at O'Hare and 6.2 inches at Midway.

CNN affiliate WGN reported more than 5 inches of rain were dumped over some parts of the Chicago area Saturday morning. There were also reports of flooded basements and expressway closures.

A flood warning remained in effect for parts of the region until 7 p.m. (8 p.m. ET).

CNN's John Branch contributed to this report