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Record Rainfall Prompts Reversal of Chicago River into Lake to Ease Flooding

Record Rainfall Prompts Reversal of Chicago River into Lake to Ease Flooding
May 19, 2020 WTTW News
Photo by Gary Wilson

By Patty Wetli, WTTW News


Chicago is drying out Monday after a record rainfall that flooded streets and yards over the weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, Sunday’s precipitation total at O’Hare Airport was 3.11 inches, the most ever recorded on May 17. That deluge came on top of another record 3.53 inches that fell May 14.

The uncommonly wet May, with 8.19 inches of rain measured so far, the bulk in just the last week, caused river levels to spike and taxed the region’s storm sewers.

Due to the intensity of the rainfall and rising water levels, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago reversed the flow of the Chicago River into Lake Michigan at both the Wilmette Pumping Station and downtown’s Controlling Works.

Read the rest of the piece straight from WTTW here.

Featured image: Barge with industrial material on the Chicago River. (Photo by Gary Wilson)

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