Thousands without power as severe weather moves through with heavy downpours, flash flood warning, s


Thousands without power as severe weather moves through with heavy downpours, flash flood warning, s Bouts of heavier than expected rain on Sunday prompted flash flood warnings, left tens of thousands of Chicago area residents without power for several hours, led to the delay of a music festivals final day of performances and created swim hazards. The National Weather Service forecast scattered showers for early Sunday, with varying amounts of rainfall throughout the region, said Casey Sullivan, a meteorologist. But the storm system crawled through the area at 10 mph, with storms forming on top of storms, dumping heavy rain in some places while others remained dry, he said. In Grundy County 1.35 inches of rain fell in just 30 minutes, while near Yorkville in Kendall County, 3.1 inches of rain fell by 3 p.m. Where it did rain, they got a significant amount of rain, Sullivan said. The storms were expected to persist across the southern portion of Cook County and on the Far South Side of the city through early evening, he said, adding, Its hard to tell you exactly how long this rains going to last. When it does move out of the area, we arent expecting any more rain for the rest of the night. During the height of the system, around midmorning, a flash flood warning was issued for Aurora and areas to the south and west, and a flood advisory was issued for areas including Naperville, Darien, Wheaton and Oswego, meaning low lying areas would be prone to flooding. At its peak about 5 a.m., power outages affected some 25,000 customers, according to Commonwealth Edison. By 2 p.m., that number was reduced to fewer than 3,000 customers, spokesman John Schoen said. Pitchfork Music Festival until about 1:30 p.m. As of 05:00AM, July 21, the heavy rains have passed through the ComEd service area. We estimated that approximately 25,000 customers have been impacted by the storm. We appreciate your patience. Please continue to report outages to or text STAT to 26633. Earlier, the storm was moving at only 10 mph to the east, forecasters said. Sullivan said by 3 p.m., the system picked up speed and was moving through the area about 25 to 35 mph. Scattered showers and thunderstorms have developed across northern Illinois this morning, basically from Chicago southwest to Mendota. The storms are moving slowly to the east, and have a history of producing heavy rains, an early briefing stated. Flash Flood Warning including Aurora IL, Oswego IL, Montgomery IL until 1:45 PM CDT Showers and storms were expected to continue to develop north and east of Interstate 55 through the afternoon, forecasters said. The stronger cells could also produce small hail and brief gusty winds. Thunderstorms will slowly move off to the east, forecasters wrote in a midmorning briefing. The weather service and the city also are warning of life threatening conditions at Lake Michigan beaches on Sunday, with a beach hazards statement in effect from 1 p.m. through Monday afternoon. DANGEROUS conditions at beaches this afternoon thru late Monday night. Stay out of the water! Swimmers and boaters should be aware of the life threatening waves and currents possible at the beaches, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications wrote in a web post Sunday. Wave heights were expected to reach up to 5 feet, and structural and rip currents were likely, it said. The warning comes off a boat that wasnt anchored Saturday. The Chicago Fire Department discussed swimming and boating risks during an 11 a.m. news conference at Diversey Harbor. There, fire Capt. Jason Lach said inexperienced boaters should be aware of persistent and extra challenging conditions on Lake Michigan. He warned inexperienced boaters to ensure safety by being aware of surroundings, as well as noting the near historic lake levels. He urged such boaters to take along someone more experienced, or to practice skills during daylight hours. It is easy to navigate the waterways, but you need to take care of yourself, Lach said. For additional weather updates, be sure to check . Chicago Tribunes Jessica Villagomez contributed. Twitter @312BreakingNews

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