The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch that’s in effect until Monday evening because of expected heavy rain in showers and thunderstorms across the area.

Rainfall rates of more than an inch per hour are likely with the heaviest showers.

That’s led the City of Evanston to issue a request for residents to restrict use of water from now until 5 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Postponing non-time-critical water usage — like doing laundry — can help sewers safely handle more stormwater, the city advisory says.

The weather service says high wave action and dangerous currents are expected at Lake Michigan beaches — with waves up to 9 feet expected — starting around 4 p.m. Monday and continuing through Tuesday evening.

Swimming conditions will be life-threatening, the weather service says, warning that people should also avoid venturing onto piers, jetties, breakwalls, or other shoreline structures.

But the weather service says we can look forward to nicer weather by the middle of the week, with gradually arming temperatures through the weekend.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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