Families and law enforcement officials are sharing their stories after a series of reported tornado touchdowns took place in several west suburban communities on Monday afternoon.
In Sycamore, located in northeastern DeKalb County, damage was reported to trees and to power lines after a tornado was reported by trained weather spotters just after 6 p.m. Monday.
Some structure damage was also reported by law enforcement officials there.
A family near Sycamore showed NBC 5 reporters twisted hunks of metal and broken trees in their backyard.
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“We started seeing storm clouds spinning in a circle. We were all looking up at this huge triangle coming down,” Mary Wetzel said. “Everything was still. We saw it forming, and heard the humming sound.”
Just behind the Wetzel family home, pieces of a barn were strewn across yards and a field.
Tornado touchdowns were reported in numerous communities, including one that touched down near Maple Park just after 6:30 p.m. The National Weather Service warned that the twister would be “rain-wrapped,” and therefore difficult to see, and warnings left thousands of residents scrambling for cover.
Tornadoes were also reported in Kirkland, Malta, Hampshire and Paw Paw, according to the National Weather Service.
Storm damage was reported by law enforcement in Burlington, with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office reporting structure damage along Plank Road.
In McHenry County, law enforcement officials also reported damage to several porches in a subdivision in McCullom Lake, but it is unknown at this time whether that damage was linked to a tornado.
Full damage assessments will be conducted in coming days, with the National Weather Service using those assessments to determine points of touchdown, the width of the storms, the length of the debris trail, and other vital information to determine how strong any confirmed twisters were.
More than 500 people were without power in several communities after the storms, according to data from ComEd. The storms also caused the cancellation of more than 270 flights at O’Hare International Airport, and forced a ground stop on all flights after a severe thunderstorm warning was issued in Cook County.
Rotation indicated on Doppler radar within the storm caused officials at the airport to warn passengers not to stand near windows, but no tornado warning was ever issued, and there were no reports of damage or injuries at the airport.