Storms Leave Thousands Without Power

Watch in effect for multiple counties until 1 a.m.

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    The son of Robert F. Kennedy has been charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly clashing with two nurses who tried to stop him from taking his 2-day-old baby boy from a Westchester maternity unit. Douglas Kennedy and his wife called the charges "absurd" and said the nurses were in the wrong. Jonathan Dienst reports. This story was published Feb. 24, 2012 at 11:31 p.m. (Published Thursday, Apr 26, 2012)

    A system of severe thunderstorms blew through the Chicagoland area Wednesday night and knocked out power to as many as 121,000 Commonwealth Edison customers.

    As of 10 a.m. the number of customers without power had fallen to 39,000; 7,000 in Chicago, 8,000 in the Northern suburbs, 11,000 in the Southern suburbs and 13,000 in the Western suburbs. 

    A chance for scattered thunderstorms holds through early Thursday afternoon before they're replaced with cloudy skies and seasonable temperatures in the mid- to upper-80s.

    The rain is much-needed relief as the entire state remains in some stage of severe or moderate drought. Far downstate sections have reached the U.S. Drought Monitor's highest end of reporting, topping out at "extreme" and "exceptional" levels of parched conditions and no rain.

    Chicago roasted under yet another heat wave this week, with Tuesday temperatures missing a 100-degree record by one degree. Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday pledged state support through loans and debt restructuring to farmers and ranchers punished by drought.

    "We've never seen a drought like this and we've got to do something about it," Quinn said.

    NBCChicago.com/Weather -- Current Watches/Warnings