On what may have been one of the last nice days of the year to dine outdoors, city residents in Chicago’s River North neighborhood ate up the warm and dry weather before strong and severe thunderstorms pounded the city.
The weather moved in quickly Tuesday afternoon, with driving rains and gusty winds upsetting outdoor tents and tables.
In the western and northern suburbs, tents and tables knocked askew were the least of the concerns of residents, who watched as wind gusts of nearly 80 miles per hour knocked down tree branches, knocked out power and caused damage to homes and vehicles.
“I was at my dining room table working and I heard glass breaking,” one Winnebago resident said. “I grabbed the dog and headed to the basement.”
Drivers were asked to stay off the roads in the village as electric and gas workers made their way through the streets assessing the damage. Seemingly healthy trees were unable to withstand the high winds, with several large trees uprooted in the community, and heavy rains left some streets in the community flooded.
Downed power lines also caused some small fires in the community, and winds knocked over box trucks and other vehicles as well.
In Lake County, the hum of chain saws can be heard in several communities, dismantling the tangled mess of trees that have fallen on city streets in multiple areas.
Fortunately, there have been no reports of injuries so far as a result of the storms, but many communities will have plenty of cleaning up to do as power is restored and as temperatures drop behind the cold front that is now moving out of the area.