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Riverwalk Reopens Following Weekend Flooding

By David Matthews | October 17, 2017 2:26pm
 Most Riverwalk restaurants made good on the city's promise to reopen Tuesday following weekend storms that submerged much of the Downtown attraction. 
Chicago Riverwalk Back Open After Flooding
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DOWNTOWN — The Riverwalk has reopened following weekend storms that submerged the Downtown attraction.

Most of the Riverwalk's restaurants including City Winery and O'Briens Riverwalk Café were preparing to reopen by midday Tuesday following record rainfalls Saturday that brought flooding. 

Employees at Tiny Tapp between Clark and Dearborn streets said the restaurant "maybe" would reopen Tuesday. 

The weekend flooding shut down the Riverwalk west of Wabash Avenue through Monday as crews worked to clean up after the storm.

The cleanup came after 4.19 inches of rain fell Saturday on O'Hare International Airport, making it the wettest October day in Chicago history, according to the National Weather Service.

Tori Joseph, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said elements of the Riverwalk including its "floating gardens" between Wells and Franklin streets were included to mitigate flooding that is expected during storms.

The cleanup cost wasn't disclosed, but Joseph said the city's budget accounts for power washing and other post-flood cleaning.

"While these events are rare, the Riverwalk was designed to withstand flood conditions during significant rain events," Tori Joseph, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said in an email Monday. "It is expected that the Riverwalk will flood as a result of significant rain events in the future and (the city) is prepared to address these events as necessary."

The city opened the third leg of the Downtown Riverwalk last year after taking out a $100 million loan from the federal government. City officials now seek ideas to extend the Riverwalk along the north and south branches of the Chicago River amid a riverfront development boom.

RELATED: Chicago Riverwalk Swamped In Record Rainfall, But Cleanup Moving Fast