News Release
City Services

April 18, 2013

OEMC Update To City's Response To Heavy Rainfall, Flooding


OEMC Update To City's Response To Heavy Rainfall, Flooding


Chicago, 9 pm - The Office of Emergency Management and Communications is providing an informational update regarding the City's aggressive efforts to assist residents and ensure the safety of communities after the overnight storm system that resulted in 5.5 inches of rain and flooding across Chicago.

"The City is committed to serving our residents by working tirelessly and as quickly as possible to address the challenges resulting from the heavy rainfall," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

OEMC Executive Director Gary W. Schenkel added, "We will continue work to ensure the safety of our communities as we assist residents affected by flooding.”

The Department of Water Management continues to work in cooperation with other City departments and agencies to address reports of flooded viaducts, basements and streets. In addition, the Department continues to work to control flooding along the Albany Park neighborhood.

Weather Update:

According to the National Weather Service, there is a 30% chance of rain in the city before 10 pm and the Flash Flood Warning that was in effect for all of Cook County until 8 P.M. Saturday has now been canceled. The Flood Warning for the North Branch of the Chicago River remains in effect until late tomorrow afternoon and the Flood Warning for Urban Areas and Small Streams in effect until tomorrow morning at 7 am. Additionally, there is a possibility of light trace amount of rain or snow showers after 1 pm.  tomorrow.

3-1-1 Service Requests:

As of 9 pm, 3-1-1 has received more than 2,200 calls regarding water in the basement, 571 calls for water in the street and 32 calls for flooded viaducts. OEMC thanks callers for their patience and understanding as the City continues to respond to the calls of residents with respect to the flooding, and reminds callers to expect longer than normal wait times.


The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that all expressways in the City of Chicago are open except the Bishop Ford.

The Chicago Department of Transportation's electricity crews continue to focus on traffic signal repairs and downed wires. As of 8 pm. CDOT reports a total of 17 traffic signals are currently flashing or out across the city; CDOT has already restored most of the signals that were out earlier in the day.

Power Outages:

According to Commonwealth Edison, the following outages have occurred in Chicago:

  •          Chicago North – 55 customers out of service
  •          Chicago South – 10 customers out of service

Albany Park Community:

Due to the current flooding along the Chicago River in the Albany Park area, Peoples Gas has shut off the natural gas service to around 300 customers to secure the safety of the neighborhoods and residents. Technicians are monitoring the situation around the clock and are working closely with the City in order to restore service and check appliances once flood waters have receded and it is safe to carry out inspections. 

OEMC has issued an automated reverse 9-1-1 call in English and Spanish to homeowners in the affected area to advise them of this precautionary measure.

Emergency Shelter:

The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) has established shelter operations to accommodate 50-60 residents whose homes have been impacted by flooding at North Park Village, 5801-C North Pulaski.  DFSS will provide transportation to the shelter for residents throughout the night as needed. Residents should call 3-1-1 for further information and to request transportation.

Relocated Vehicles:

To date, the Department of Streets and Sanitation has relocated 105 vehicles to proactively remove them from flooded areas. Residents whose cars have been relocated due to flooding precautions are advised to call 3-1-1. When calling, residents must provide their license plate information in order to find out where their respective vehicles have been moved to in the meantime. There are no fees for vehicles relocated due to flooding.


At O’Hare, airlines are reporting delays averaging 90 minutes or more for flights in and out of the airport. Approximately 600 flights have been canceled today due to weather. At Midway, airlines are reporting some delays averaging 30 minutes or more, and more than 30 cancellations.  Passengers traveling through Chicago’s airports tonight and tomorrow should check their airlines’ website or call to confirm the status of their flight. Those traveling to O’Hare and Midway today should allow extra time to get to the airport.

Garbage Collection:

The Department of Streets and Sanitation is removing bulk refuse resulting from flooded homes. Residents in need of a bulk pick up are asked to call 3-1-1.


  • Safety first. Don't step in floodwater. Before you go into your basement, ask your local fire department or call the Peoples Gas 24-hour gas emergency number at 866-556-6002 to turn off your natural gas.
  • Dry Up. Drain the area using a gasoline-powered water pump located outside your home, or an electric pump connected to an outside line.
  • Use Your Nose. If you smell natural gas, leave immediately. Don't operate gas or electric appliances. Call the Peoples Gas 24-hour gas emergency number at 866-556-6002 from your mobile phone or a neighbor's home.
  • Check It Out. Hire a qualified contractor to inspect appliances such as gas furnaces, water heaters and dryers. Peoples Gas can restore service to your home when these items have been inspected and are safe for you to use.

OEMC reminds residents to exercise caution in areas affected by flooding and to sign up at to receive extreme weather alerts via text message and email.

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The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications was established in 1995 to coordinate the City’s delivery of Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services resources. OEMC operates Chicago’s public safety communications system, managing emergency situations and coordinating major events, 3-1-1 and 9-1-1 Communications Operations. For more information visit our website at or “like” us on Facebook at