Storms batter Fox Valley area
From Staff Reports April 17, 2013 11:22AM
Tips from Kane County Emergency Management Director Don Bryant about what to do during a flash flood watch:
Be aware of flash flood areas such as canals, streams, drainage channels and underpasses.
If confronted by flood waters, seek higher ground.
Be ready to evacuate with your “Go Bag” of emergency supplies.
If time allows, move essential items to upper floors.
Avoid electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you must leave your home, do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
Do not try to drive over a flooded road. Fast-moving flood waters can wash away you and your car.
If you experience flooding in your area and need assistance, call 911 immediately.
Updated: April 17, 2013 6:37PM
Heavy rains, and damaging hail and wind swept through the area Wednesday afternoon.
As temperatures dropped from the 40s into the high 30s, the front brought sporadic, torrential downpours that made it hard to see when driving. Along with the rains were at least three bursts of hail, with the strongest about the size of dimes or large peas.
A motorist who was trying to make his way along Randall Road near Interstate 90 in northern Kane County said in a phone interview just before noon that heavy rain and intermittent hail had been falling for almost half an hour. It was the first strong wave of what was supposed to be a prolonged series of storms in the afternoon and evening.
“It sounds like someone beating on my car with a hammer,” the East Dundee man said.
In its aftermath the already slightly swollen Fox River had gone out of its banks in West Dundee to cover three low-lying portions of the village’s brick-paved riverwalk.
With up to 4 inches of rain predicted Wednesday afternoon and overnight, Fox Valley officials were warily eyeing the level of the Fox River and local creeks. But no residential or commercial flooding had been reported as of midday Wednesday.
“The river is above flood stage but we don’t have any particular issues yet,” said Donald Bryant, Kane County’s director of emergency management. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens after the rains predicted for later today.”
In South Elgin, which was one of the areas hardest hit by flooding in 2007 and 2008, Village Administrator Larry Jones said that “it looks like the river level actually dropped a little overnight, but we’ll have to see.”
Jones noted that some low-lying South Elgin houses that were flooded out in the village’s worst siege, in August 2007, have since been bought up with the help of a county program and torn down to be replaced by open space.
Heavy rain, gusty winds, hail, thunderstorms and flooding all could be in store for the Chicago area over the next couple days as a strong spring storm moves through the area, according to the National Weather Service.
By the time the skies clear, the rainfall total for the Chicago area could reach 4 inches, a weather service meteorologist said Wednesday morning.
The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area until 5 p.m. Wednesday and a flash flood watch was in effect from 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday morning.
Additional small hail and heavy rainfall were expected late Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday night, there will be more showers and thunderstorms, along with gusty winds, as well as hail and heavy rainfall. This was expected to continue late into the night and into Thursday. High winds, showers, small hail, and thunderstorms were also on the menu for Thursday, according to the weather service.
Temperatures will climb Thursday, with highs expected to be in the low 70s. South winds were expected to be 15 to 25 mph in the morning, increasing to 20 to 30 mph by early afternoon, according to the weather service. Gusts of up to 40 mph also may be possible.
The showers and storms will continue into Thursday night, with showers combined with thunderstorms likely in the evening, then showers likely after midnight. Low temperatures will dip to around 40 degrees, with wind gusts up to 35 mph, the weather service says.