The National Weather Service now believes that at least three tornadoes touched down across the Chicago area during a severe weather outbreak on Saturday, with straight-line winds also causing damage in Rockford.
According to officials, one of the three EF-0 tornadoes touched down in suburban Oak Brook, while the other two tornadoes both touched down in different parts of Boone County.
The first tornado touched down in Oak Brook near a Hilton Hotel and the Willow Crest Golf Club, according to officials. That twister, categorized as an EF-0 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, packed estimated peak wind speeds of 75 miles per hour, and reached a maximum width of 60 yards.
The tornado was on the ground for approximately 1.9 miles, and while it was it snapped tree branches and caused the roof of an outbuilding at the golf course to collapse. It was on the ground for three minutes before lifting up.
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A second EF-0 tornado was reported in Boone County near Timberlane. That tornado, which reached an estimated peak wind speed of 80 miles per hour, was on the ground for approximately one minute at 5:55 p.m. and traveled a half-mile, reaching a maximum width of 60 yards.
Several trees were uprooted and snapped at the start of the tornado’s path, and several floating docks were thrown across Candlewick Lake, officials said.
A third tornado was reported approximately 12 minutes later in Capron. The extremely-brief tornado touched down in an open field near the intersection of Coon Trail and Capron Roads, and caused no known damage, with unknown wind speed and width.
Officials also said that after exhaustive investigation, using drone footage from the Rockford Fire Department and Doppler radar data from Chicago and Milwaukee, that storm damage in Rockford was caused not by a tornado, but by straight-line winds that gusted in excess of 70 miles per hour.
The straight-line winds caused a roof collapse of a building near the intersection of 9th and Broadway streets in Rockford. The winds also caused additional roof damage on other buildings, and snapped power poles and tree branches in the area.
All data is preliminary and is subject to change.