Powerful storm knocks down trees, damages houses

A powerful storm plows through the Chicago area Saturday, knocking down trees and damaging houses.
A powerful storm plowed through the Chicago area Saturday, knocking down trees, damaging houses and it seemed like it was raining inside a terminal at O'Hare for a while. Just getting around on area roads during the deluge was a real challenge.

The heavy winds were the biggest issue. Officials in suburban Wauconda estimated gusts up to 70-80 miles per hour. The gusts blew over trees

The 80-year-old tree in Bill Surovitz's back yard was no match for the 70-80 mile winds that whipped through Wauconda early Saturday evening. Part of the tree came crashing down on his roof, allowing the heavy rain to pour into his house. But he says it could have been much worse.

"I see some water leaking, the back of the house is torn apart a little bit, but nothing we can't fix," Surovitz said.

Surovitz has been unable to get in to survey the damage. Another part of the tree came down on power lines which may still be live in his back yard.

Nearby Bonner Road is closed because of downed power lines as well. They are still looking at other damage from the storm around the area. The mayor says there are about 20 trees down throughout Wauconda, but this is about the worst.

"Right not we have a lot of trees down, wires down," said Wauconda Fire Chief Dave Dato.

The same storm system also caused a lot of damage to the south in Kankakee County. Heavy rain has caused some flooding issues and high winds have brought down trees and broken some windows.

"All of a sudden, we lost this tree and then see my deck patio furniture shoot across into my neighbor's driveway," said homeowner Larry Wallace.

There are no wide spread power outages reported, however down power lines have caused some scattered outages.

STORM DELAYS FLIGHTS, LEAKS INTO O'HARE TERMINAL

Exact figures on the number of flights delayed or canceled due to the storm were not available Saturday night, but the afternoon thunderstorm did disrupt operations at O'Hare International Airport for the remainder of the day.

Both inbound and outbound flights averaged about an hour delay late Saturday night.

By Saturday evening there were just a few puddles and buckets left, but earlier rain came down inside O'Hare Airport's international terminal. The drenching rain was actually leaked into and flooded part of the arrivals area.

And while the thunderstorms were nowhere near as disruptive to flight operations as the dense fog was on Thursday, there were still multiple flights delayed, diverted and outright cancelled. One family was on their last leg home from London to Des Moines, Iowa, when the storms hit.

"We were two planes from taking off when the storm came in," said Eileen Baker. "So we sat on the Tarmac for two hours they brought us back to the gate, took us off, sat there for another hour and then they said the flight is cancelled."

For business travelers, the weather delays translate into missed meetings.

"Over the phone I've been trying to work with my travel agent and I've rebooked, but I get in at 2:45 (Sunday) afternoon. Will miss several meetings (Sunday) morning," Mark Matlock said.

And while there is a lot of frustration, for at least one man trying to get home to Beijing, the cancellations came with a silver lining.

"I feel kind of lucky because I wanted to visit my host mom in Milwaukee, so because of this I can go and change my flight to another day," said Yu Cheng.

Barring any additional storms, everything should be back to normal at O'Hare by Sunday.
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weather weather severe weather flooding rain Chicago - O'Hare
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