Severe Storms Shake Chicago Area

Storms produced heavy rain and damaging winds

About 99,000 ComEd customers remained without power as of late Tuesday afternoon after storms rushed through the Chicago area, leaving at least 183,000 Commonwealth Edison customers without power.

Aurora and Rockford saw the most outages with 36,000 whereas Chicago was hit slightly lighter with about 28,000 remaining outages, according to Commonwealth Edison spokesman David O'Dowd. In the north suburbs only about 9,000 ComEd customers saw power outages, but in the south suburbs about 26,000 customers were without power.

Strong to severe thunderstorms moved from the northwest after 6 a.m., bringing heavy rain and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph across a good portion of the metro area.

In Bridgeport, homeowner Bill Powers said he woke up to the sound of his wife screaming and his roof crashing down.

"I didn't know what to think or what to do. We finally got the bedroom door open. She grabbed my hand and I grabbed her hand and we just ran out the back door and everything was caving in behind us. It was just -- I never experienced anything like that in my life and I'm still shaking. I can't stand it," Powers said.

He said he expects the home on the 2500 block of South Hillock Street, which has been a part of his family for most of its 125 years, is a total loss.

One woman who lives in Chinatown said her house shook in the forceful wind, and on the 2500 block of South Hillock on Chicago's Southwest Side, a tree toppled onto a home. The Chicago Fire Department confirmed no injuries were reported from the fallen tree.

Tree damage and flooding were reported across the area. The 4900 block of North Lawndale Avenue in Chicago was reportedly blocked by fallen trees and branches covered cars.

In Aurora, several side streets were obstructed by downed trees and wires, and Indian Trail between Highland and Pennsylvania was temporarily shut down for downed wires. 

Helen Plum Memorial Library was closed for a power outage during the storms.

A severe storm warning was in effect until 6:30 a.m. as storm moved through Lake, DuPage, DeKalb, Kane and Kendall counties. A severe thunderstorm watch expired in the Chicago area and Northwest Indiana at 9 a.m.

The National Weather Service reported it tracked a line of thunderstorms capable of winds in excess of 70 mph just before 6 a.m. extending from Kildeer to St. Charles.

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