Flooding brought traffic into O'Hare International Airport to a near standstill this morning, forcing dozens of people to walk to the airport or a nearby Blue Line station to make their flights.
A trail of passengers could be seen pulling their suitcases out of cars and cabs and walking along the side of the road as westbound traffic on Interstate 190 was reduced to a single lane at Mannheim Road because of a foot of standing water, according to Illinois State Police Sgt. Henry Spight.
Crews from the Illinois Department of Transportation reopened the westbound lanes by about 8 a.m. All eastbound lanes remained open, police said.
That was the biggest commuting headache this morning from the two-fisted storms that pounded the Chicago area Monday night, but there were plenty of other problems: Downed trees, fires caused by lightning strikes, power outages, canceled flights -- and a sinkhole that swallowed a car and then a truck.
Kane County deputies said they were called to Thomas and McDonald roads around 3:50 a.m. after a Ford Taurus drove into a deep sinkhole, according to the sheriff's office.
The two people inside the Taurus -- a 41-year-old woman and her 15-year-old son -- had been delivering copies of The Daily Herald newspaper when they fell into the sinkhole, the sheriff's office.
A Chevy pick-up truck also hit the sinkhole and drove over the top of the car, the office said.
Fire crews extricated the woman and boy from the car. One of them was taken to Kishwaukee Hospital in Sycamore and the other was taken to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, the office said. The truck driver was not injured.
Deputies estimated the sinkhole as 10 feet in diameter and "deep enough that the Taurus was completely below ground level."
As of this afternoon, Burlington Township crews were working to repair Thomas Road, the sheriff's office said.
Lightning strikes from the storm caused fires across the area, including one in Naperville where a home caught fire in the 3600 block of Schillinger Court, causing $75,000 worth of damage.
In northwest suburban Inverness, two homes in one neighborhood were hit by lightning about 7:30 p.m., according to Palatine Rural Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Rich May. A home in the 1900 block of Durham Drive caught fire after lightning blew a small hole in the roof; another home about a half mile away in the 1600 block of Balmoral Lane also was hit by lightning but did not catch fire. The fire was put out quickly, May said, and the home remained liveable.
In southwest suburban Oak Forest, an apartment building in the 15700 block of Peggy Lane was hit by lightning about 8 p.m. and caught on fire, according to Oak Forest Fire Department Deputy Chief Jack Janozik. The building was not occupied because it had caught fire earlier this year after being hit by lightning during another storm, Janozik said. But a worker was inside the building at the time of Monday’s strike and was hospitalized after being shocked or hit by lightning, Janozik said; the worker was outside the building when firefighters arrived.
The storms had another impact on Oak Forest, Janozik said Tuesday morning, noting that his fire station, the police department and village hall all were without electricity. His station was getting by on generator power.
Suburbs throughout the area were also coping with hundreds of trees downed by high winds, according to the National Weather Service. The weather service reported wind gusts 75 mph in Homewood, Oswego, Park Forest and University Park, 82 mph in Bolingbrook, 85 mph in Tinley Park and 86 mph in Lowell, Ind.
Morris seemed the worst hit, with as many as 300 trees damaged and power lost to 90 percent of the town. In Plainfield, trees as tall as 50 feet were uprooted in the Lakewood Falls area, the weather service said.
The weather service said it was sending out teams this morning to survey the damage. They will be concentrating on areas around Plainfield, Morris, Earlville in LaSalle County, Grant Park in Kankakee County and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.
The agency later said that the survey in Earlville showed that damage there, including downed trees and roof damage, appeared to come from straight line winds moving at speeds of 80 to 100 mph. The debris from the storm was "generally laid down in an east or east-northeast direction," the agency said
About 153,000 ComEd customers were still without power at 3 p.m. Tuesday, utility spokesman John Schoen said. All but about 15,000 of those customers were south of Chicago in the areas hit hardest by Monday's storm, he said. Around 7,900 customers in Chicago itself were still without power this afternoon, Schoen said.
ComEd didn't yet have a timeline for when service would be restored. More than half of the 402,000 customers affected had their service restored by Tuesday afternoon, Schoen said.
At the airports, more than 100 flights were canceled and another 100 were delayed this morning at O'Hare. About a dozen flights were canceled at Midway.
The storms that moved through the Chicago area in two waves dumped 3.3 inches of rain in west suburban Woodridge, with about half coming from each of the two storms. Other totals included 2.78 inches at Midway, 3.85 inches in north suburban Highland Park and 2.59 inches in northwest suburban McHenry.
All that rain resulted in the National Weather Service issuing a flood warning for northeast Illinois. Areas of special concern are the East Branch of the Du Page River near Bolingbrook, which is already at flood stage, and Thorn Creek in south suburban Thornton, the Des Plaines River at west suburban Riverside, and the Illinois River at LaSalle, all of which are near flood stage.Copyright © 2015, RedEye