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Record Rainfall Falls in Chicago

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While the East Coast was withering under an unbearable heat wave this past weekend, Chicagoans were trying to stay above water during a record-breaking rainfall.

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport saw 6.91 inches (17.6 centimeters) of rainfall on Saturday morning (July 23), reported the Chicago Tribune. That's the biggest single-day rainfall in the city's records. The airport saw 5.53 inches (14 cm) in just two hours. (The local National Weather Service office recorded the rainfall at 6.86.)

The rare rainfall bested the city's previous record of 6.64 inches (16.9 cm) set on Sept. 12, 2008.

Flash flood warnings were issued throughout the city, and many roads to the airport were flooded. The stormy weather knocked out power to about 74,000 customers in the metropolitan area. Now that the storms have passed, the region is enjoying temporarily cool temperatures. They won't last however, as hot weather is expected to return to the region by mid-week.

Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.