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How Hidden Connections Nearly Sank Chicago

One morning in 1992, a Chicago radio reporter looked into the river and, stunned, told listeners he saw “swirling water that looks like a giant drain … I think someone should wake up the mayor!” The water was rushing into a 60-mile network of underground railroad tunnels that had been secretly dug beneath the city in the 1800’s and then forgotten, until a construction crew accidentally punctured one tunnel under the riverbed. What followed was one of the costliest floods in the city’s history. Fish swam in skyscraper basements. The entire financial district had to be evacuated. Richard Powers remembers the story. [%comments]