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City Prepares for Flooding as Melting Snow, Rain Expected Through Thursday

By Erica Demarest | February 19, 2014 7:22am
 City officials expect flooding through Thursday. File photo.
City officials expect flooding through Thursday. File photo.
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DNAinfo/Patty Wetli

CHICAGO — As rising temperatures, melting snow and heavy rainfall are expected to slam Chicago this week, city officials have begun to prepare for flooding.

Temperatures could reach the low 40s on Wednesday and low 50s by Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. If temperatures get colder overnight Wednesday, the city could see freezing rain, sleet or snow added to the mix.

Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are expected throughout the day Thursday.

Meteorologists have issued a flood watch for the area through Thursday morning, citing melting snow and new rain.

City crews began clearing debris from catch basins Wednesday, the mayor's office announced. This should allow water to properly drain into the sewer system.

Residents who see water pooling in the street for several hours should call 311.

City officials warned that quick thaws can "increase instances of broken pipes" — both in water mains and residences. Anyone who sees a leak should call 311.

The mayor's office asked Chicagoans to help rake away debris from catch basins near their homes, when possible.

Those driving should watch out for standing water, even if it seems shallow enough to cross, the Illinois Department of Transportation urged Wednesday.

If a car does stall in water, officials said, drivers shouldn't try to push it out — but rather, leave the car and seek higher ground.