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Record rainfall drenches Chicago

Flights are canceled, power is knocked out and roads are flooded as the city deals with the largest single-day rainfall since records began in 1871.

July 24, 2011|By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
  • A woman makes her way along a flooded street in Park Ridge, Ill. An overnight storm flooded the street, leaving a number of cars stranded.
A woman makes her way along a flooded street in Park Ridge, Ill. An overnight… (Allen Kaleta, AP )

As a heat wave continued to sear much of the East with 100-plus temperatures Saturday, Chicago was pounded with record-breaking rainfall.

At O'Hare International Airport, rainfall totals had reached 6.91 inches Saturday morning — the largest single-day rainfall since records began in 1871, according to ChicagoWeatherCenter.com. The highest previous daily total was 6.64 inches on Sept. 12, 2008.

Commuters soldiered on their way, trying to deal with the effects of overnight storms. Two truckers had to be rescued by boat after abandoning their nearly submerged trucks on a South Side expressway.

Roads into the airport were backed up, and the rain caused numerous flight delays of up to one hour and dozens of cancellations. The storm knocked out power for more than 150,000 customers, ComEd reported. As of noon Saturday, about 74,000 were without power.

Meanwhile, temperatures reached 105 degrees in Atlantic City, N.J.; 104 in Trenton, N.J.; 103 in Norfolk, Va.; and 102 in Baltimore and Newark, N.J., the National Weather Service reported.

About 10,000 customers lost power in New York City and its suburbs, and about 9,000 in New Jersey, after parts of the region's electrical network failed. Power utility Con Edison said it was reducing the voltage in 69 other New York neighborhoods to ease the load caused by the use of thousands of air conditioners, according to the Associated Press.

The heat is expected to begin easing up Sunday.

stephen.ceasar@latimes.com

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

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