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Rain, melting snow could cause flooding

<p>City crews from the Dept. of Streets & Sanitation clear the snow.  |  Alex Wroblewski/Sun-Times </p>

City crews from the Dept. of Streets & Sanitation clear the snow.  |  Alex Wroblewski/Sun-Times 

A combination of rising temperatures, melting snow and impending rainfall could cause flood conditions throughout the Chicago area Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch in effect from Wednesday night through Thursday morning for the Chicago region and northwest Indiana.

While high temperatures Thursday could reach the 50s, the frozen ground, melting snow and rainfall between half an inch to 1 1/2 inches could create an elevated risk of flooding in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana, according to the alert.

“The combination of rainfall and snow that’s on the ground right now that will be melting will lead to some pretty big runoff in the area because the ground is frozen and the water will have nowhere to go,” said NWS meteorologist Kevin Birk.

Birk said the heaviest rainfall will occur Thursday morning and the storm could last throughout the afternoon.

High standing water and flooding are possible in areas with poor drainage and low-lying areas and near streams, creeks and rivers, according to the weather service.

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