Heavy rain and flash floods in northern Cook and southern Lake counties Wednesday morning closed roads, created a horrendous rush hour and forced some residents of Buffalo Grove to evacuate by boat.
Kent McKenzie, director of emergency management for Lake County, said a corridor from Lake Zurich to Buffalo Grove was the hardest hit Wednesday, with Lake Zurich recording more than 6 inches of rain in a short time.
In Lake Barrington, crews spent more than seven hours searching for a man and a dog who were seen in the quick-moving and debris-filled waters of Flint Creek.
Lake County sent pumps to Lake Zurich to help residents, along with sandbags to flooded areas in Deer Park. There were also plans to send out cleaning kits to help homeowners after the river and water levels receded.
Officials said Buffalo Grove firefighters had to evacuate nine residents near Buffalo Creek due to flooding.
In Palatine, residents of the Runaway Bay and Long Valley apartment complexes scrambled to remove cars from parking lots as floodwaters rose quickly.
"It was like a river all through here this morning," Runaway Bay resident Lisa Delagarza said Wednesday, adding that water was up to her waist in the street and parking lot about 6:30 a.m.
A flood warning is in effect until Thursday evening for the Des Plaines River, which hit 7.3 feet Wednesday evening. The flood stage is 5 feet.
The river is expected to fall below flood stage Thursday afternoon, but water was reported to be on the pavement along the 1700 block of Busse Road.
Mayor Matt Bogusz said within 15 minutes of receiving a flood warning from the National Weather Service, the city activated the Emergency Operations Center with all senior staff on deck.
On Big Bend Drive in Des Plaines, where the worst flooding typically occurs, residents spoke with First Ward Alderwoman Patti Haugeberg as sandbagging equipment arrived Wednesday. She said the situation was not as bad as the record-breaking flooding in April.
Numerous roads were temporarily shut down by the flooding in other hard-hit communities, including Arlington Heights, where Maintenance Superintendent Mike Reynolds said there was a mix of backyard flooding, street flooding and sewer backups into basements.
McHenry was also heavily impacted by flooding, with reports of more that 5 inches of rain.
Metra was urging commuters in that area to check its website prior to the morning commute for service updates. A section of track along Bay Road was washed out by the heavy rains, halting afternoon service Wednesday on the McHenry Sub-District line, which stems north from the
Crystal Lake station on the Union Pacific Northwest Line.
Earlier in the day, water caused a communication blackout between Barrington and Harvard, resulting in numerous trains being rerouted or delayed.
A flash flood warning remains in effect for northern Cook County, Lake County, McHenry County and Northern Kane County until 10 a.m. Thursday, and more showers and thunderstorms are possible.
• Staff writers Melissa Silverberg and Madhu Krishnamurthy contributed to this report.