Torrential rains cause flash flooding across southwest suburbs

DARIEN and DOLTON, Ill. -- The rain started around 1 p.m. Friday afternoon, and neighbors in the southwest suburbs say say around 4 p.m. the floods began, leaving local parks, roads, and parking lots under water.

Storms crossing the area caused headaches at local airports, with O'Hare cancelling over 485 flights and reporting delays of over 70 minutes as of 10 p.m. Midway Airport reported delays of 50 minutes on average around the same time.

In the flooded parking lot of the Jewel on Cass Avenue in Darien, several cars sat in more than a foot of water. Kayakers even came to do a couple laps. A few doors down, Chuck E. Cheese closed early today because of flooding.

Darien Resident Steve Tomchek came for groceries and left with a car full of water.

"I was disappointed. I was hoping it didn't get into the car," Tomchek said.

Michael Downs, a building maintenance manager, said it’s been years since he’s seen flooding like this.

“The rain was just coming down in like buckets,” Downs said.

Buildings and homes reported whole basements full of water that's coming up from the sewers, creating headaches for homeowners.

At 151st and Greenwood in Dolton, some drivers tried to make it through high waters on the roads, some even trying to drive off the road and onto the grass.

Marlisha Bailey tried and now her engine is toast. She said a friend tried to give her a jump with no luck.

"It was the littlest cars going through, so I said let me try because I'm in a truck. Then I got stuck," she said.

Those driving in the area tonight should be very careful and not drive through flooded streets, officials said.

A flash flood warning remains in effect until 10:45 p.m. because even though the rain has stopped, runoff could continue to cause more flooding. And with more rain in the forecast over night into tomorrow, things could get worse.