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Flash Floods Hit Chicago

Aired August 2, 2001 - 11:01   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Back to the Chicago area, where we have this flash flooding going on.

We want to check and get the latest for you, find out a little bit more about what's going on there with our Chicago bureau chief, Jeff Flock -- Jeff.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donna, an extraordinary event early this morning in Chicago. Of course, yesterday we were talking to you about the heat. Today, when the heat broke, thunderstorms came in and right now I'm standing on the Pratt Street (ph) overpass over Edens Expressway. That's Route 94 that heads from Chicago on up to Wisconsin. It is completely flooded.

This is something that has not happened in Chicago. Where I'm standing right now, and I don't know if you've got a live picture, from a chopper that is coming from overhead, but at least two vehicles are visible to me, just the tops of the vehicles, perhaps the top six inches or so of the hood of one and then the trunk lid of another one is up.

This water came up very fast and at times on the Edens Expressway we had cars turning around on the northbound lanes and heading back southbound on the northbound lanes to try and escape the water coming so quickly. Just a tremendous amount of rain. I don't know what, Chad could probably give us a sense of numbers in terms of rainfall. But I can just tell you even where I live just a tremendous downpour that went on for probably an hour, an hour and a half straight and just dumped a tremendous amount of water.

Chicago, of course, is very flat. It doesn't typically experience any sort of flooding. But when this kind of water comes down at once, you are susceptible. And this Edens Expressway, I've never seen -- I've been here 20 plus years now and I've never seen anything quite like this in terms of water over washing the expressway. Also, several underpasses along Lake Shore Drive as well as the underpasses of the expressway flooded right now.

So a very difficult situation, Donna.

KELLEY: All right, Jeff Flock there, thanks very much.

And Chad Myers has zipped back downstairs with us. He was upstairs... CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Running up and down.

KELLEY: ... to fix some radar and find out the latest details for us. And so Jeff was asking some of those questions. How much has come down and how fast?

CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been over two and a half inches now just in the past hour and 15 minutes.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes.

MYERS: And it was one of those storms that kind of goes right along this whole front. See this thing kind of going all the way now from South Dakota into the northeast? Well, that's the problem. And I'll move the maps one more time here, show you what happened in Chicago right along that frontal system. And it's still raining at the lake shore. But most of that rain now is on the south side of the city. It moved through Aurora, all the way down south, the 80, 90.

Now, Gary just about under the gun here for a very strong sell. Not severe thunderstorm warnings, but very heavy rainfall, buckets of rain, rain like we get in Miami, rain like we get here in Atlanta, where you just see the water piling up on the roadways. And obviously Chicago doesn't get tropical rains. This is almost like a tropical storm rain because there's so much water in the air.

We talked about the humidity all week. It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

HARRIS: Yes, right.

MYERS: Well, now, there's the humidity. It's on the road.

HARRIS: Well, I'm surprised that is an unusual, that that in Chicago, it's right there on the lake. I would assume that there has got to be some kind of effect that takes water out of the lake and dumps it on the city. Doesn't it?

MYERS: Not really because that lake is so much colder. That lake is not the Gulf of Mexico.

HARRIS: Ah, there you go.

MYERS: You can't get hurricanes in Lake Michigan, right, or Lake Erie, for that matter.

HARRIS: Got you.

MYERS: So there's not that bulk humidity like we have today.

HARRIS: There you go.

MYERS: So there goes.

HARRIS: All right, thanks much, Chad.

KELLEY: All right, Chad. Thank you.

MYERS: You're welcome.

HARRIS: Appreciate that update and we'll talk with you later on.

MYERS: All right.

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