Storms roll through area, leave damage behind

April 4, 2011 7:54:40 AM PDT
Rain, lightning, wind and hail caused damage across the Chicago area late Sunday and early Monday.

At Montrose and Oak Park in the northwest suburbs, a lightning strike split a tree right down the middle. No one was hurt, but crews worked overnight to clean up the mess.

Hail was reported in many areas, as well, as the storms rolled through. In DeKalb, half-inch-sized hail stone fell for a couple minutes.

Also, fire investigators are examining whether the bad weather started a fire in Western Springs. The deputy fire chief says one home sustained minor internal damage but more severe damage outside. The fire started at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

And lightning that struck a home's satellite dish Sunday night in northwest suburban Long Grove started a fire that caused about $25,000 in damage, fire officials said.

Rirefighters responded to that fire at the home on Stratton Lane at 9:19 p.m. and used about 600 gallons of water to quickly extinguish the fire burning at the peak of the roof, according to a release from the Long Grove Fire Protection District. Crews also used a fire extinguisher to put out some hot embers that fell into the attic.

The blaze apparently started when lightning struck a satellite dish on the roof and traveled throughout the home, the release said. The flames did not spread to other areas of the house, but the electrical surge burned out three electrical sockets and tripped eight electrical breakers.

The residents and their dog had already evacuated the home by the time crews arrived, and no none was hurt, the release said. The home reportedly was left uninhabitable because power had to be shut off to the building. The residents made plans to stay overnight in a nearby hotel.

(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)