With dangerous storms bringing the potential for damaging winds and possibly isolated tornadoes to parts of the Chicago area in the coming hours, officials are warning residents to be prepared to act quickly.
“Parts of northern and central Illinois could see severe weather [Tuesday night], with more severe storms possible during the day and into the evening hours on Wednesday,” IEMA Director James K. Joseph said in a statement. “We want everyone to stay aware and be prepared to seek shelter immediately if a storm warning is issued.”
Storms could begin to move in late Tuesday night for some areas and the Wednesday morning commute may be met with severe weather.
Much of northern Illinois was placed under the moderate risk for severe weather heading into Wednesday, meaning widespread severe storms are likely.
A Flash Flood Watch was issued for Ogle, Lee and LaSalle counties from late Tuesday through late Wednesday night. A separate watch for virtually all of the Chicago area begins Wednesday morning and remains in effect through late Wednesday night.
ComEd said Tuesday afternoon it was closely monitoring and preparing for severe weather.
“ComEd has developed a plan and is prepared to have the necessary resources available to respond in the event that there is weather-related power issues that impact our customers,” Terence R. Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ComEd, said in a statement. “We understand the impact a loss of electrical service can have on our customers. We are closely monitoring the incoming weather system and will execute plans to ensure impacted customers are restored quickly and safely.”
In suburban Elmhurst, crews cleared inlets and completed sweeping in anticipation of heavy rainfall. City officials also said sand bags are available in the parking lot of the Public Works Garage for residents to pick up.
Mostly clear skies are expected to give way Tuesday afternoon to clouds, becoming more humid with scattered showers and thunderstorms developing before dawn in far west and southwest counties before moving into the Chicago area.
Weather models show damaging winds could reach upwards of 60 mph, with the potential of large hail, heavy rain and frequent lightning. Isolated tornadoes will be possible in some locations.
The storm system will be an evolving situation. Forecasters warn residents to stay alert to changing conditions and have a safety plan in place in the event severe storms hit your neighborhood.
Highs are expected to be in the low to mid 80s inland and 70s along the lakefront and North Shore.
Periods of showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue through the evening, with some likely severe.