Chicago Weather: Fast-moving storms bring sudden downpours in Chicago and suburbs

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Fast-moving storms that developed to the south and west of Chicago brought sudden downpours and lightning as they moved through the area Thursday afternoon. (WLS)

Fast-moving storms that developed to the south and west of Chicago brought sudden downpours and lightning as they moved through the area Thursday afternoon.

The storms produced sudden downpours of rain and strong winds. Naperville Ribfest was temporarily closed twice. Festivalgoers sought shelter in a nearby school as fierce winds toppled tents and booths.

The sudden downpours caused some flash flooding in the city. On the South Side, flooded viaducts were reported at 83rd and Vincennes, on 88th between Eggleston and Harvard and there were reports of a car stuck in the water at 81st and Harvard. At least one driver needed help from police.

In Oak Lawn tree branches were knocked down by winds, and in Bedford Park a facility that makes packaging products was heavily damaged, a portion of its roof torn off and a semi trailer blown over.

"The rain was going sideways. It was pelting against the windows," said Marty Field, general manager of Packaging Corporation of America. "All of a sudden there was a tremendous gust of wind and we think it was a microburst, although we don't really know."

Dozens of workers were inside at the time, but no one was injured.

ComEd said about 8,600 customers were without power throughout the Chicago area as of just before 9 p.m.

As of approximately 7 p.m., more than 4,700 people were without power in Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana, NIPSCO reported.

The weather also impacted Chicago airports Wednesday. As of 2:48 p.m. O'Hare International Airport reported delays averaging 52 minutes and 34 cancellations. Midway International Airport reported 30 cancellations and minimal delays.
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