chicago severe weather

Live Blog: Thousands Without Power After Severe Storms Hit Chicago Area

Severe weather that hit the Chicago area overnight has left thousands without power, leaving crews scrambling to restores service.

Here is the latest information we have on the storms:

5:43 a.m.: 'Life-Threatening' Swim Conditions Expected on Lake Michigan Thursday

The National Weather Service says that "life-threatening" swim conditions are expected on Lake Michigan Thursday, as a cold front moves its way through the area.

According to a beach hazard statement, waves of 4-to-7 feet and rip currents are expected along the lake in Cook County in Illinois, along with Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties in northwest Indiana, until Friday evening.

5:35 a.m.: LaSalle County Remains Under Severe Thunderstorm Watch, While Most Others Removed

According to the National Weather Service, a severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect until 8 a.m. in LaSalle County in Illinois, but most other counties have been removed from that active watch.

Those counties removed include Grundy and Kankakee counties, along with Jasper and Newton counties in northwest Indiana.

All four counties were impacted by severe storms during the early morning hours Thursday, but storms have begun to move out of the area and several storm cells have weakened below severe limits.  

5:31 a.m.: Wind Gusts in Excess of 60 mph Down Trees, Cause Power Outages Across Area

The National Weather Service is reporting several areas where wind gusts in excess of 60 miles per hour were recorded during Thursday morning’s thunderstorms.

According to the service, a 60 mile per hour wind gust was recorded just to the south of Hebron at approximately 2:12 a.m., while a severe thunderstorm warning was active in McHenry County.

A wind gust of 55 miles per hour was recorded at the Chicago Executive Airport in Cook County at approximately 2:45 a.m.

A gust of 58 miles per hour was recorded in suburban Elgin, located in Kane County, at 2:50 a.m. In Glenview, a wind gust of 61 miles per hour was recorded at 2:57 a.m.

At the DuPage Airport in DuPage County, a wind gust of 64 miles per hour was measured by observers at approximately 2:59 a.m.

Finally, at Midway Airport in Chicago, a wind gust of 60 miles per hour was measured by observers at approximately 3:21 a.m.  

5:30 a.m.: Large Tree Blocks Part of Wolf Road in Mount Prospect

NBC 5 photographer George Mycyk captured these images of a downed tree that is blocking Wolf Road in Mount Prospect early Thursday morning

5:15 a.m.: More Than 37,000 Remain Without Power Thursday

More than 37,000 ComEd customers remain without power after Thursday morning’s storms, with most of those outages occurring in Cook County.

According to the utility company, approximately 20,769 customers are without power as of 5:15 a.m., with 259 active outages in the county.

Another 4,465 customers in McHenry County are without power.

Here are the latest numbers:

Cook County: 20,769

McHenry County: 4,465

DuPage County: 3,614

Kane County: 3,422

Lake County (Illinois): 3,182

Will County: 918

DeKalb County: 668  

4:45 a.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warnings Allowed to Expire

Previous warnings that had been issued for Kankakee County, along with Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties, were allowed to expire after storms weakened below severe limits and moved out of the area, according to the NWS.

3:50 a.m.: Wind Gust of 60 mph Recorded at Midway Airport

Co-op observers at Midway International Airport recorded a wind gust of 60 miles per hour at Chicago’s Midway Airport Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The gust came as severe thunderstorms moved their way through the Chicago area, leaving tree damage in their wake and leaving thousands of ComEd customers without power.  

3:46 a.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued in Kankakee County, Several Indiana Counties

A new severe thunderstorm warning was issued for several counties, including Kankakee County in Illinois, along with parts of four Indiana counties.

Southern Lake County, all of Porter County, northern Newton County and northern Jasper County were included in the warning, which will expire at 4:45 a.m.

Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are possible with the storms, which are continuing to race toward the southeast after hitting areas around Chicago earlier in the morning.

3 a.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for Several Illinois Counties

A new severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for all of Kendall and Will counties in northeast Illinois, along with northern Grundy County and southeastern Cook County, according to the National Weather Service.

At 2:57 a.m., severe storms extended in a line from Hinckley toward Winfield and on to Evanston, moving to the south at 45 miles per hour.

Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are possible with the storms.

2:15 a.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for Chicago, Surrounding Counties

A new severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for a swath of northern Illinois that includes the city of Chicago, according to the National Weather Service.

The warning includes DeKalb, Kane, DuPage and Cook counties, and will last until 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

As of 2:12 a.m., a line of severe storms were located between Kenosha, Wisconsin and Woodstock, Illinois, with the storms moving toward the southeast at 55 miles per hour.

Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are possible with the storms. A wind gust of just under 60 miles per hour was reported near Hebron, according to a local storm report.  

1:50 a.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for Lake, McHenry Counties

The National Weather Service has issued a new severe thunderstorm warning for parts of McHenry and Lake counties in northeastern Illinois until 3 a.m.

According to the warning, eastern McHenry County and all of Lake County will be included in the warning.

The two counties are in the path of a line of storms that is currently located in Wisconsin, and is moving to the southeast at 50 miles per hour.

The main threat from the storms will be wind gusts, which could measure in excess of 70 miles per hour.

Waukegan, Arlington Heights, Palatine, Buffalo Grove and Crystal Lake are all in the path of the storm system, which is picking up speed as it approaches the Illinois border early Thursday morning.

1:45 a.m.: Line of Strong-to-Severe Storms Approaches Northern Illinois

1:35 a.m.: Tornado Warning Issued for Several Wisconsin Counties

A tornado warning has been issued for parts of Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties until 2:15 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

According to the National Weather Service, a thunderstorm cell has been exhibiting radar-indicated rotation that is consistent with a tornado. Residents are urged to get to basements or an interior room of their homes immediately.

1:26 a.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for Winnebago, McHenry Counties

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Winnebago, McHenry and Boone counties until 2:45 a.m.

According to the warning, all of Winnebago County is included, along with western McHenry County and all of Boone County.

As of 1:23 a.m., the storms were located along a line extending from Monticello to Whitewater, moving to the southeast at 40 miles per hour.

The storms are packing wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour, which can cause tree damage, as well as damage to mobile homes, roofs and outbuildings.

1:20 a.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued for Large Chunks of Wisconsin

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for most of southeastern Wisconsin, including Kenosha County, until 2:45 a.m.

The warning also includes Milwaukee, Walworth, Rock, Racine, Waukesha, Dane and Jefferson counties, according to the National Weather Service.

As of 1:16 a.m., a line of severe thunderstorms were located on a line extending from Slinger to Jefferson and to Brooklyn, moving toward the southeast at 45 miles per hour.

The storms are packing wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour, according to the warning. Tree damage is expected, along with damage to mobile homes, roofs and outbuildings.

1 a.m.: Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued for Chicago Area

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for all of northeast Illinois and parts of northwest Indiana, as showers and thunderstorms begin to approach the region after developing in Wisconsin.

According to the National Weather Service, the watch is now in effect for McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, Cook, LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy, Will and Kankakee counties in Illinois, as well as Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana.

The watch will be in effect until 8 a.m. Central time.

Isolated tornadoes will be possible with the storms, as will isolated ping-pong ball-sized hail and wind gusts of up to 75 miles per hour.

11:30 p.m.: Severe Storms, Gusty Winds and Torrential Rains Possible in NE Illinois, NW Indiana

The storms, located in central Wisconsin as of 11 p.m. Wednesday, will slowly move their way to the south and southeast, but will begin to pick up speed as they approach the state line, according to the NBC 5 Storm Team.

Those storms are already sparking severe thunderstorm warnings in Wisconsin, and some have exhibited some radar-indicated rotation.

The storms are packing heavy rains, gusty winds, small hail, and will come into the area with a limited chance for tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.

It appears that the storms will move across the Illinois state line around 2 a.m., and will move their way through the western suburbs and potentially the city of Chicago itself.

10:15 p.m. ComEd Positions Equipment, Additional Crews as Severe Weather Threatens Illinois

ComEd is activating its Emergency Operations Center and is positioning equipment and crews to deal with potential power outages ahead of severe weather that could impact parts of northern Illinois Wednesday night and into Thursday.

In a press release, the utility company announced that it would work to place equipment in potentially-impacted areas, and would put additional crews on standby ahead of the forecasted storms, which could pack gusty winds in excess of 50 miles per hour and frequent lightning.

Those storms, developing in Minnesota and Wisconsin, have the potential to sweep to the southeast on Wednesday night, impacting the northern suburbs of Chicago and areas along the shores of Lake Michigan before moving down toward northwest Indiana.

Gusty winds, frequent lightning, small hail and isolated tornadoes are possible, according to a hazardous weather alert from the National Weather Service.

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