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Chicago Weather: Recent Storms Break May Record For Rainfall

CHICAGO (CBS) -- For the third year in a row, Chicago has seen more than 8 inches of rain in May, with a record 8.3 inches so far this month, following two major rainstorms in the past week.

The National Weather Service said the light rain on Monday pushed the city past the previous May record of 8.25 inches of rain, set last year. Chicago also had 8.21 inches of rain in May 2018. Those are the only three times on record Chicago has had more than 8 inches of rain in May.

Some streets and rivers still remain flooded, more than 36 hours after Sunday's storms cleared out.

On Sunday night, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District reversed the flow of the Chicago River at the Chicago River Controlling Works downtown and at the Wilmette Pumping Station to alleviate flooding, after the river rose higher than the lake. The river was so high, more than three feet of water covered the Chicago Riverwalk at one point.

The MWRD stopped reversing the flow of the river at the Chicago River Controlling Works downtown around 11:45 a.m. Monday, and at the Wilmette Pumping station at 8:15 p.m. Monday.

Flooding also overwhelmed Lower Wacker Drive, prompting Fire Department crews to use inflatable boats to help rescue at least six homeless people who were left stranded Sunday night.

The flooding on Lower Wacker Drive also has left Willis Tower without power since early Monday morning, after a ComEd substation was knocked out. Crews were still working to pump out floodwater from the basement of the iconic skyscraper on Tuesday. ComEd said they are not yet able to estimate when power will be restored.

The Chicago Department of Transportation said they expect Lower Wacker Drive to remain closed between Randolph and Harrison streets through Saturday night to allow for the water to be pumped out of the Willis Tower basement, and for concrete road repairs to be completed.

Delivery vehicles will be allowed to access Lower Wacker Drive. For other vehicles, traffic on southbound Lower Wacker Drive will be detoured to Southbound Upper Wacker (using the Randolph ramp), to Westbound Van Buren Street, to Southbound Canal Street, to Eastbound Harrison Street.

Northbound Lower Wacker Drive traffic will be detoured to Northbound Franklin Street, to Eastbound Wacker Drive, and back to Lower Wacker Drive (at Columbus Drive). The Monroe Street entrance ramp to Lower Wacker Drive will be closed as part of this work.

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