Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has called a state of emergency after widespread flooding hit the northern part of the state. More heavy storms are expected. Earlier Thursday, a sinkhole swallowed three cars in Chicago, injuring one person.
"Heavy rainfall over the past few days has created dangerous flooding in areas across the state," Quinn said in a statement. "Everyone should stay home and off the roads if possible. To ensure safety as these storms continue, people should be alert and avoid flooded areas," he added.
According to a news release, the state of emergency ensures that
state resources are activated and that the federal government is
aware that a disaster declaration is likely. It also allows the
state to request resources as needed.
Rescue services responded to the scene around 5:30am local time, when two cars were inside the hole. A third one slid into it after crews arrived, WGN-TV reported.
Officials would not confirm whether the sinkhole was
caused by the inclement weather.
Three to five inches of rain fell on Wednesday and
overnight. The storms forced the cancellation of more than 300
flights and closed hundreds of schools in the Chicago area.
The rain waters closed nearby expressways during morning rush
hour on Thursday.
Evacuations have begun to take place along the Des Plaines and Fox rivers, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The Chicago Transit Authority reported delays or
stopped trains on eight of its lines. Many city buses were also
In the town of Elmhurst, Acting Mayor Scott Levin
declared a state of emergency. He cited flooding, severe sewage
backups in homes, overwhelmed resources, and emergency personnel
staffing. Elmhurst is located 20 miles west of
A high school in the northern suburb of Libertyville
sank a foot into the ground, according to the local Fire
Department. No injuries were reported.
The National Weather Service has called the situation a "very
serious and potentially dangerous flood situation" and advised
people to stay home.