Mild weather in Midwest offers new headaches

Evening commuters navigate melting snow and puddles Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2014, as they head home in Chicago. Weeks of subfreezing weather are giving way, at least briefly, to temperatures in the 50s, putting cities on guard for flooding, roof collapses and clogged storm drains. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

CHICAGO (AP) — Residents of the Chicago area are facing some flooding problems today. The sunny skies that started melting the snow this week have now given way to steady rain, and more melting.

Some commuters today say they hope their basements won’t be lakes when they get home. Just in case, some have stacked belongings in their basements on top of milk crates.

One woman who commuted into Chicago today from her home south of the city says water in front of her house was up to her boot. Another said the streets near her home in suburban Oak Lawn were flooded but not impassable.

Today promises to be a gray, sloppy mix of rain, sleet and some snow — a far cry from yesterday, when the streets and parks in and around Chicago were crowded with joggers, mothers pushing strollers and people walking their dogs.

Forecasters in Indiana are warning that the melting snow, which was piled as high as 18 inches, won’t be able to flow into rivers and streams because those channels are frozen. Parts of Michigan, meanwhile, have had so much snow that authorities are worried about more roof collapses like that one that injured two women yesterday in the Grand Rapids area.

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