Widespread Storm Damage

Roofs ripped off buildings; Chicagoans lose power

Severe thunderstorms and heavy wind gusts knocked off roofs, sent trees plummeting to the ground and left more than 23,000 Commonwealth Edison customers in the dark Tuesday night on the Southeast Side of Chicago and in the northern suburbs.

The largest number of storm-related power outages as of 9 p.m. were reported in the northern suburbs, where more than 15,800 were without power, ComEd spokeswoman Michelle McConnell said. In the west suburbs, 2,700 were in the dark and in the south suburbs, 4,200 were without power. In Chicago, 2,000 customers lost power.

The most considerable storm damage happened in Palatine and Wheeling in the north suburbs, as well as in the Southeast Side Hegewisch neighborhood, National Weather Service meteorologist Richard Castro said.

The storm line that affected the north suburbs, as well as a portion of Lake, McHenry and Kane counties was well defined and moved throughout the area with intense wind gusts, Castro said.

The Wheeling Fire Dept. reported a huge storm coming through and ripping off the roofs of several commercial buildings, Castro said. And in Wheeling, damage was reported on Chaddick Drive.

In the far northwest suburbs of McHenry County, the wind gusts were estimated at 72 mph and two large trees fell onto Route 62 just before 6 p.m., Castro said.

And on the Southeast Side of Chicago in the Hegewisch neighborhood, several large trees were downed near 131st to 135th streets, Castro said.

That isolated storm cell moved throughout the Southeast Side and moved north over the lake. Although some people in the area reported seeing a funnel cloud, a National Weather Service spotter indicated the storm was most likely a straight line wind which formed a microburst, Castro said.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, McHenry, Will and Lake counties until 9 p.m.

The rain could continue Wednesday, when temperatures will only reach 75 degrees, the weather service said.
ComEd indicated the utility company is working to have power restored by 9 p.m. Wednesday, depending on the severity of the weather and the many incidents involving downed trees.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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