(Reuters) – The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for parts of northeastern Illinois on Sunday, including the northern Chicago metropolitan area, after heavy rains inundated overpasses, blocked cars and sent water into basements.
Chicagoans have shared photos and videos on social media of partially submerged cars under underpasses and plumes of water gushing from sidewalks.
The Chicago Bears showed no sign of canceling a scheduled football game with the San Francisco 49ers at noon local time (1700 GMT), posting videos of the team warming up in the pouring rain on wet ground.
Even after the heaviest rains ended around 11 a.m., the NWS warned roads would remain flooded until the water had time to recede.
The city on Twitter urged residents to avoid crossing standing water in streets, overpasses and low-lying areas.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change https://report.ipcc.ch/ar6wg3/pdf/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_FinalDraft_FullReport.pdf, or the IPCC, predicts more extreme flooding for the Midwest.
According to the Chicago Office of Water Management, extreme rainfall events – “very local, very intense and difficult to predict” – have increased in recent years.
Such rains can dump 2 inches (5 cm) per hour over a neighborhood, overwhelming local sewers, filling drains and pushing water into residents’ basements via private drains. As a result, the city has begun installing water blockers on catch basins that prevent sewers from flooding but can worsen street flooding.
(Reporting by Julia Harte in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)