On this historic weather day in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, upwards of a half-foot of rain was dumped on some parts of the Chicago area. If a picture is worth a thousand words, those showing submerged cars, giant sinkholes, and rescues by boat, tell some harrowing stories of what people faced. Even after the rain had stopped, officials warned that dangerous flooding was still an issue, with the worst of it yet to come, urging commuters to drive cautiously and find safe routes.

Finding a safe route proved to be quite difficult during the morning commute. Flooding closed down sections of most of the major expressways, including the Edens, Eisenhower and Kennedy expressways. Most of these roads remained closed late into the day with flood waters receding slowly. Those traveling by train didn’t have any easier of a commute, with Metra delays reaching over 100 minutes in some cases. Flying in or out of O’Hare or Midway was a gamble, with hundreds of cancellations and long flight delays.

As the day wore on and the flooding continued to worsen, Illinois Gov. Pat quinn activated the State Incident Response Center in Springfield to help speed up assistance to public safety officials in affected areas. After assessing damage in some of Chicago’s suburban areas, Gov. Quinn is expected to decide whether to declare communities disaster areas. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has already issued a disaster proclamation for Cook County.

The biggest concerns now that the worst of the rain is over are the rapidly-rising rivers, particularly the cresting of the Des Plaines river. As river waters spilled out into communities, many residents were evacuated, some requiring rescue by boats.

For more information on what’s been happening throughout the Chicagoland area, check out the Chicago Tribune’s Chicago Flooding: Live blog updates .

At Boudreau & Nisivaco , safety is important to us. The best way to prevent injuries , possibly life-threatening ones, from occurring to yourself or others is to take the necessary precautions. We saw many photos today of submerged cars that attempted to drive through water that was too high. Many of those vehicles’ drivers had to climb out of windows or wait for emergency crews to rescue them. Don’t let that be you!

If you see standing water and are unsure of how deep it is, do not attempt to drive through it. A good indicator of when you can and cannot continue through water is by determining whether the water level is above or below the bottom of your vehicle’s door. If it is below, you may continue. If it is above, do not attempt to drive through the water. If you or someone you know has been injured , contact one of our expert attorneys for a free case evaluation.