Parts of Midwest Beset with ‘Unprecedented’ Flooding

July 14, 2017

Authorities say nearly everyone in the Racine County community of Burlington, Wisconsin, is dealing with some type of flood damage.

Police Chief Mark Anderson says flooding in the city of about 10,000 is “massive” and “unprecedented.”

The city’s four bridges over the swollen Fox River remain closed because the waterway is 5 feet above flood stage.

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday declared a state of emergency in Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth counties because of widespread flooding. National Guard troops have been sent to the area to help with recovery.

Because a We Energies substation is submerged in floodwater, thousands of people in the area without power may not have electricity restored until Friday afternoon.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says roads and highways are closed throughout Racine, Kenosha, Walworth and Waukesha counties.

Flash flooding amid severe thunderstorms and heavy rains has also affected travel in parts of Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says water covered part of Interstate 475 in Genesee County, near Flint, on Thursday morning. Other portions of the freeway had water over them as well, but authorities say that traffic was getting through.

Storms Tuesday night and Wednesday caused scattered power outages for thousands of homes and businesses in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. More storms moved through on Thursday.

The heavy rains come as parts of mid-Michigan still are dealing with the effects of flooding in June. Four counties declared states of emergency after those floods to ensure they’re eligible for state and federal relief funds. They are Isabella, Midland, Bay and Gladwin counties.

Major flooding is also being predicted over the coming days in northwestern Ohio where residents in Findlay are piling up sandbags.

The National Weather Service expected near-record flooding in the city by Friday morning. Many city streets already are closed because of high water.

The forecast for flooding along the Blanchard River jumped after 3 more inches of rain fell overnight on Thursday.

Findlay officials in the city roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Toledo say many streets are hazardous.

The city has had five major floods over the past 10 years that have caused millions of dollars in damage.

A suburban Chicago hospital remains closed after being evacuated due to power outages caused by flooding.

Northwestern Medicine says in a statement on its website that power was restored Wednesday night at Lake Forest Hospital following the outage earlier that day, but it remained closed to clinical operations.

The statement says 70 patients were transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and other local facilities.

Lake County was among parts of Illinois hit hard by flooding. Earlier Wednesday, Mundelein firefighters and police officers evacuated about 25 people from an apartment building. Some senior citizens were taken away on small boats.

A line of thunderstorms moved across northern Illinois, causing the flooding. The National Weather Service reported Libertyville recorded 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rainfall and Lake Forest had nearly 6 inches (15 centimeters).

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