Chicago Weather: Storms sweep through area

May 21, 2013 (CHICAGO)

PHOTOS: Storm Damage

It's believed a lightning strike caused a tree to split and crash onto a car on the city's Northwest Side in the 2600-block of North Lamon. There is no word if anyone was injured.

Severe thunderstorms rolled through several counties Monday night, which are believed to have caused some costly damage to several buildings.

Lightning knocked a piece of brick off the Darien Town Hall. It actually caught fire. A homeowner reported a bright light and heard the loud crack. And a hot spot later sent firefighters rushing back.

"Thought we had it out. But apparently there was a little left over, and in the heat of the day and early morning started to relight," said Chief David Lambright, Darien Woodridge Fire District.

Kevin Madsen and his 18-year-old daughter Angela hugged as they returned to their home. Angela was on the computer when she says a jolt from lightning knocked her off her chair.

"It felt like a big shock. I heard a loud ringing," she said.

"As soon as I went to sit down on the couch, there was just a large flash and a loud bang. And the flash was like an arc welder, and it came, like, to the windows," said Kevin Madsen.

Their townhouse and another next door are uninhabitable from water efforts to fight the fire that started in the attic. Lightning is suspected in another fire in Chicago on 27th and Central Park. Nobody inside was hurt.

A strong line of storms ripped through Chicago and the suburbs overnight, leaving a mess in many areas. One man lives near the damage and said he hopes people will send their prayers to oklahoma.

"I feel so sorry for them. This is nothing compared to what they went through," he said.

A family with a newborn baby lives in a townhome that also sustained significant damage in Darien. They have to stay elsewhere; so does the family next door. They have been trying to salvage belongings. they just say they are glad that everyone is safe and that nobody was injured in any of these incidents.

The National Weather Service cancelled a severe thunderstorm warning in northern Illinois about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. But not before golf-ball sized hail and rain overflowed storm drains and submerged parts of some roadways, officials said.

The extreme weather could return Tuesday during the afternoon and evening hours, as thunderstorms currently over Iowa head east, according to the weather service.

Meanwhile, the storms that drenched Chicago Monday night are now working their way across northern Indiana, according to the weather service.

An exact total of rainfall was not released as of 1 a.m. Expressway travel was not seriously impeded by the rain, according to Illinois State Police.

"At this point there's nothing that's impeding traffic. A little standing water, but nothing major," said Master Sgt. Rodney Collins.

A flash flood warning remains in effect for the eastern portion of Cook County and northwestern Lake County, according to the weather service.

Areas Downstate are also under a severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado watch as the storms move though central Illinois.

Before the storm, forecasters warned that strong winds could damage roofs, siding and trees in these areas, the weather service said.

The same wave of storms rained quarter-size hail on residents of Marseilles in LaSalle County, National Weather Center Meterologist Andrew Krein said.

Forecasters say residents should pay attention to local weather reports and avoid driving if possible when storm conditions reduce visibilities on area roads.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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