Few troubles are reported from record amount of rain in area
By Susan Frick Carlman email@example.com January 30, 2013 10:22AM
Updated: March 2, 2013 7:38AM
With the cold and snow coming through, perhaps Tuesday’s rain is already a memory for some Naperville residents.
However, the storm did earn a place in the record books.
When the rains came Tuesday, the accumulation was unusual, considering it was the end of January. It washed out the old historic high for the date, which noted the 0.97 inch recorded in 1939.
“The rainfall amounts across Chicago generally ranged from one and a half to one and three quarters of an inch,” said Matt Friedlein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Romeoville. “That really speaks for a lot of the area. It was pretty consistent.”
Local responding agencies were ready for much larger amounts of rain.
“We had a grand total of 22 calls for 15 locations,” Naperville Public Works supervisor Fred Girard said in an email. “We came upon several others. Not everything it was cracked up to be.”
Still, at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, the West Branch of the DuPage River was about two inches below the sidewalk near the Municipal Center, Girard said. The downpours kept him and his crews on duty quite late.
The rain also caused DuPage County to activate two of its 15 flood gates, including Fawell Dam in north Naperville.
“We got about an inch and half, less than we expected,” said Jim Zay, chairman of the county’s stormwater committee.
The Spring Creek Reservoir dam near Medinah also was put to work.
The total rainfall measured at the official site at O’Hare International Airport Tuesday was 1.33 inch, Friedlein said.
“What happened ... was really out of the ordinary. It was really anomalous,” he said.
When the NWS office in downstate Lincoln sent up a weather balloon Tuesday, Friedlein said, it found near-record moisture levels as it ascended through the atmosphere.
“This was a strong weather system that brought this warmth and moisture ahead of it,” he said.
There’s no reason to expect additional deluges in the near future, Friedlein said.