-- Very heavy rain across parts of the Midwest early this morning sparked off flash flooding from northern Illinois to Indiana.
Cars on local highways in Blackford County, Indiana, had to be abandoned as rapidly rising waters washed out roads, authorities said.
If flooding was not enough, a house caught on fire in Hartford City, Indiana, forcing local firefighters to fight the blaze from boats.
The most intense rain fell during the early morning hours this morning. However, dramatic weather has swept through the region for the past 24 hours, yielding significant rainfall totals. The heavy rain hit the Chicago area first, then tracked farther south and east, heading into northern Indiana.
Over the past 24 hours, Chicago's Midway Airport recorded over 4 inches of rain. Just a few miles away, Burbank, Illinois, logged over 5.5" of rainfall.
The intense band of rain continued southeast into northern Indiana, dropping from 4 to 6 inches of precipitation. Hartford City, Indiana, was hit especially hard, receiving 8 to 10 inches of rain within the past 24 hours. The highest rainfall total observed so far was five miles northwest of Hartford City, receiving 10.63 inches of rain.
This extremely heavy rainfall was sparked off by a stationary front sitting across the Midwest. It was a setup for heavy rain to develop and slowly move over the same locations for several hours.
Flash flooding will remain a concern throughout the upcoming weekend as scattered thunderstorms could contain locally heavy downpours and impact already saturated areas.