Winter storm brings heavy winds, rain to Chicago area


High waters along the lakeshore in Chicago on Jan. 11, 2020. (Erik Runge/WGN)

CHICAGO (WGN/WOOD) — The same winter storm affecting West Michigan Saturday brought heavy winds and rain to the Chicago area, causing flooding.

Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches, plus strong north to northeast winds gusting 45 to 50 mph will continue to build 15- to 20-foot waves along the Illinois and Indiana Lake Michigan shoreline, causing considerable erosion and flooding at the lakefront.

The Chicago Park District closed part of the lakefront trail to walkers, bikers and runners due to high waves and slippery conditions. Some areas like Rogers Park have experienced beach erosion, and efforts are underway there to try and protect the land along the lake.

O’Hare International Chicago Airport cancelled over 950 flights and about 60 more were cancelled at Midway International Airport. For the latest on flights, visit Most airlines are waiving change fees for people, as long as the bought their tickets before Thursday and are traveling over the weekend. Check with your airline on the rules to avoid change fees.

The Chicago Department of Emergency Management said the city is prepared for this winter weather. Water department crews have been out clearing out catch basins to try and prevent flooding and will continue those efforts through the weekend.

Later this afternoon into the evening hours, a blanket of snow will lay out across much of the Chicago area, travel conditions will deteriorate. Snowfall totals will likely range from 6 inches along the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, gradually tapering to 1 to 2 inches in northwest Indiana and in Illinois south of Chicago and Interstate 80.

The Illinois Department of Transportation said it has plans in place to treat and clear the roads, starting with 1,800 trucks and other equipment statewide on standby.

An original version of this article was posted on WOOD TV8’s sister station website

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