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updated: 7/12/2017 6:24 PM

Elgin hit hardest by heavy rain in Fox Valley

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  • City of Elgin public works employees work to clear drains on Jane Drive on Wednesday morning after drenching rains caused flooding in streets and houses.

    City of Elgin public works employees work to clear drains on Jane Drive on Wednesday morning after drenching rains caused flooding in streets and houses.
    Rick West/rwest@dailyherlad.com

 
 

The Elgin area was hit the hardest by heavy rains that fell Tuesday night into Wednesday in the Fox Valley.

As of just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, Elgin had received 4.7 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. Rainfall totals were a little more than 3 inches in Sleepy Hollow and Woodstock, 2.8 inches in Gilberts, 1.81 inches in Carpentersville and 1.65 inches in South Elgin.

South of South Elgin, the Tri-Cities received little rain during that period, though the Aurora Municipal Airport in Sugar Grove recorded slightly less than an inch of rain through 3 p.m. Wednesday, with much of that coming between 10 and 11 a.m.

Across the region, Lake County took the brunt of the storms, according to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Libertyville recorded more than 6 inches of rain, Gurnee received almost 5.5 inches, and Lake Villa and Lake Bluff had 5.3 inches.

Don Bryant, director of the Kane County Emergency Management Agency, said Wednesday his crews were on standby and reaching out to municipalities to see if they needed help with localized flooding.

More trouble could be ahead as rainwater works its way south from Wisconsin on the Fox River, and his crews will be ready to respond with sandbagging, evacuations and other measures if needed, Bryant said.

The next 24 to 48 hours will be crucial. "We are already monitoring that and getting ready to respond should the need arise," he said.

ComEd reported about 15,000 customers in the North and Northwest suburbs lost power because of the storms, including 1,900 in Elgin.

Elgin fire officials said a strong line of thunderstorms with damaging winds hit about 9:55 p.m. Tuesday. Multiple lightning strikes were recorded in the area south of National Street and just south of Route 20 between Wilcox Avenue and Liberty Street.

Trees and power lines were knocked down, and power was knocked out from approximately the Grand Victoria Casino east to Liberty and most everything south of National Street.

The Elgin Fire Department responded to approximately 45 calls during a three-hour span. There were no injuries and no structure fires as a result of the weather, officials said.

Wednesday morning Tyler Creek spilled over its banks in a residential neighborhood on Elgin's west side.

The Fox Waterway Agency in Fox Lake declared the entire Chain O' Lakes waterway a no-wake zone effective immediately. The no-wake restriction includes the Chain, and the Fox River from McHenry to Algonquin. A no-wake restriction means boats must not travel faster than 5 mph in order to avoid producing a wake.

Meteorologist Amy Seeley of the National Weather Service said more thunderstorms were expected late Wednesday night into early Thursday.

• Daily Herald staff writer Harry Hitzeman contributed to this story.

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