Storms sweep across Chicago area

June 13, 2008 4:59:59 PM PDT
Residents in the Chicago area are cleaning up from the latest round of storms. Thunderstorms accompanied by high winds caused minor damage and cut power to thousands early Friday. The storms left penalty of damage in the west and north suburbs of Chicago. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph toppled trees and power lines.

In Crystal Lake, police and firefighters responded to numerous reports of trees down.

One large tree ended up crashing onto a garage, splitting the building in half. The homeowners were asleep when the tree went down.

Mike Jackson and his wife woke up early Friday morning to discover a tree had fallen on their Crystal Lake house. While the damage is bad, Jackson remains positive.

"The garage is destroyed. Car will be saved, but I think motorcycles are done. Everything else in the garage is pretty much done, so it's OK, so that's the only thing that matters," said Mike Jackson, Crystal Lake resident.

Throughout Crystal Lake, the strong wind scattered tree branches onto lawns and blocked some streets. It also took out some power lines.

"We just got woken up at about one o'clock this morning. A tree branch came down on our garage, broke some windows," said Terri Jackson, homeowner.

"I thought it was a burglar coming through until I looked at the back window and couldn't see out of it. All I could see was branches," said Mike Jackson, homeowner.

Damage was more significant to the counties to the west.

In the town of Garden Prairie, which is in Boone County, the storm lifted an entire barn from its foundation. It deposited the building onto the nearby roadway.

In DeKalb County, in the small community of Kirkland, the storm ripped the roof and walls off of one home. The family was asleep inside when the wind started to pickup. No one was injured.

At one point, 50,000 ComEd customers were without power. The utility now says that number has been reduced to 12,000, most of whom are in Chicago's western suburbs.

Officials say 110 repair crews are working to restore power.

"There has been a lot of damage throughout the north and west suburbs and first we have to assess the damage and then we have to send crews to the area to make the repairs and get customers restored. We are doing that right now. We have 110 crews in the field and we are expecting more crews coming on at 7 a.m.," said Judy Rader, ComEd.

The National Weather Service says flooding remains a threat across much of Illinois.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.


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