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Heavy rains flood Chicago roads and force NASCAR to cut short a downtown street race

by Andrew Wright
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Chicago Roads Flooded, Forcing NASCAR to Shorten Downtown Street Race

Chicago was hit by heavy rains on Sunday, causing severe flooding in the city’s streets and leading NASCAR officials to cancel the latter half of an Xfinity Series race scheduled to take place in the downtown area.

The National Weather Service issued a warning about the potentially life-threatening nature of the flooding, which resulted in numerous roads becoming impassable, creeks and streams overflowing, and basements being flooded across the Chicago region. By midday, suburban areas like Cicero and Berwyn had received up to 6 inches of rainfall, as reported by the NWS website. By the evening, most flood warnings had expired.

Due to the flooding, the Illinois State Police closed sections of Interstate 55 and Interstate 290. On Interstate 55 near Pulaski Road, a major north-south route within the city, at least 10 cars became trapped in the floodwaters. Train services were also disrupted in some parts of Chicago.

In other news, Shane van Gisbergen claimed victory in his NASCAR Cup Series debut, marking an unforgettable finish to the series’ first-ever street race. Meanwhile, Alex Palou secured his third consecutive IndyCar race win with a triumph at Mid-Ohio. Additionally, Cole Custer was declared the winner of the NASCAR Xfinity Series after persistent rain rendered the race impossible to complete. Tragically, a NASCAR contractor lost his life in an incident involving electrocution at the Chicago Street Race.

Katera Fisher experienced her car floating when she attempted to drive through the high waters. Recounting the event, Fisher told WLS-TV, “My initial instinct was to exit the vehicle. However, upon opening the door, water began flooding into the car, submerging my feet.”

Originally, NASCAR officials intended to resume the Xfinity Series race on Sunday morning after Saturday’s suspension due to lightning. However, they made the decision to cancel the race during the midday hours due to ongoing rain. Consequently, Cole Custer was announced as the winner.

Subsequently, NASCAR’s Cup Series race commenced through the streets of downtown Chicago on Sunday afternoon.

The start of the Chicago Cubs’ afternoon game against the Cleveland Guardians at Wrigley Field remains delayed.

Ricky Castro, a meteorologist at the NWS’ Chicago office in suburban Romeoville, explained that a storm system was lingering over the area instead of moving east. This allowed the system to draw moisture from the atmosphere, resulting in heavy rainfall. Castro further highlighted that the abundance of concrete in the metropolitan region prevents the rainwater from seeping into the ground, ultimately causing flooding.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about flooding

What caused the cancellation of the downtown street race in Chicago?

The cancellation of the downtown street race in Chicago was caused by heavy rains and subsequent flooding, which made the roads impassable and posed a significant threat to the safety of the participants.

How severe was the flooding in Chicago?

The flooding in Chicago was quite severe, with the National Weather Service issuing warnings of “life-threatening” conditions. The flooding resulted in numerous impassable roads, overflowing creeks and streams, and flooded basements across the Chicago area.

Were there any road closures due to the flooding?

Yes, the flooding led to road closures in Chicago. Parts of Interstate 55 and Interstate 290 were closed due to the flooding, and at least 10 cars were trapped in water on Interstate 55 near Pulaski Road. These closures caused significant disruptions to traffic in the affected areas.

Were there any other impacts of the heavy rains in Chicago?

In addition to the road closures and flooding, the heavy rains also caused disruptions to train services in certain parts of the city. Moreover, the start of the Chicago Cubs’ afternoon game at Wrigley Field was delayed due to the inclement weather.

Why did the NASCAR officials decide to cancel the race?

NASCAR officials decided to cancel the race due to the ongoing rain and the adverse conditions caused by the flooding. The safety of the drivers and participants was the primary concern, and it was deemed necessary to cancel the race for their well-being.

Who was declared the winner of the Xfinity Series race?

Cole Custer was declared the winner of the Xfinity Series race. The decision to cancel the race was made, and since more than half of the race had been completed, the current standings at that point determined the winner.

What caused the heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding in Chicago?

The heavy rainfall and flooding in Chicago were caused by a storm system that remained stationary over the area instead of moving east. This allowed the system to draw moisture from the atmosphere, resulting in heavy rainfall. The abundance of concrete in the metropolitan area prevented the rainwater from seeping into the ground, leading to flooding.

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