SUGAR GROVE, Ill. (WLS) --Spring storms swept through the Chicago area Wednesday afternoon, bringing heavy rain, high winds and small hail to the city and suburbs. Downed trees and power lines were reported in many areas.
In north suburban Spring Grove, officials said a fire at a home in the 2000-block of Tahoe Lane is believed to have been sparked by lightning. There were no reports of any injuries.
Downed trees were reported in numerous areas, including Chicago Ridge, Hoffman Estates and Sandwich. High winds pushed a tree down on the hood of a car as a man was driving along Central Avenue in Oak Lawn. He was not hurt.
"I guess he's lucky," said Kevin, a neighbor. "Another five seconds and the tree could have hit his roof."
The storms also moved through Kendall County, knocking down utility poles and trees.
"Just a torrential downpour up there. I was blinded. I put my wipers on high and I just couldn't get through it," said Mike Hamburg, a Sandwich resident.
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Meteorologist Larry Mowry drove down I-88 west of Aurora around 4:30 p.m., where rain was coming down at a rate of around four inches per hour. Some areas saw as much as two inches of rain.
The ominous clouds prompted some cities to sound tornado sirens, but Mowry said the storms had limited to no risk for twisters.
Manhole covers shot up in the air in front of the Golden Nugget near West Lawrence and North Ravenswood avenues on Chicago's North Side during the storms Wednesday.
Jets of water hit the heavy metal covers from underground, creating a very dangerous situation for drivers and pedestrians.
O'Hare reported power outages in the parking lot and hangar areas, but said flight terminals were not affected. ComEd said at the height of the storm, 33,463 customers were in the dark. All power was restored by 5 a.m. Thursday.