Severe storms sweep through Chicago area

June 12, 2013 (CHICAGO)

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At about 5 pm. Wednesday evening a confirmed tornado touched down in Somonauk, which is west of Chicago in DeKalb County.

In Joliet, what appeared to be a funnel cloud drops from the darkness. It loomed near the Joliet Regional Airport, triggering tornado sirens.

Sirens blare in Joliet and other southwest suburban communities as clouds moved through and winds kicked up dust.

A fire burned down a Lemont farm house. One of the homeowner's relatives shot video as firefighters fought the blaze.

"It sounded like the house was struck by lightning... they all got out though. When we got here, they were gone," said Chief Carl Churulo, Lemont Fire Protection District.

The Selbka Family has owned the home since the 1940s and say they were renting it out to two adults.

"They are renters, got out safely, I hope, I think... but it's sad for the family because it's a piece of history," said Chris Salituro, homeowner's relative.

In Minooka, hail forced residents to run for cover.

In the northwest suburbs, flooding became a problem in Des Plaines and lightning lit up in the North Shore.

The weather also forced cities, like Evanston, to shut down and cancel events.

"When we hear that there are going to be winds of up to 70 miles per hour, we take that pretty seriously," said Eric Palmer, spokesman, City of Evanston.

The severe storms moving across northern Illinois have knocked out power to 34,000 customers. Most of those are south of Chicago. ComEd says 600 crews are working to restore power.

Baseball-sized hail was reported near Crest Hill.

Storms halt travel, events in Chicago

The severe weather led Metra to hold some outbound trains downtown due to high winds. Airlines canceled more than 360 flights at O'Hare Airport. Aviation officials tell us there have been more than two dozen cancellations at Midway.

Northwestern University canceled its evening events, including final exams, on both Evanston and Chicago campuses. The White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field was also canceled, along as the opening night concert of the Grant Park Music Festival at Chicago's Millennium Park.

Several small tornadoes, quarter-sized hail and winds of up to 80 mph were reported. Emergency officials say tornadoes touched down in Winnebago County, but no major damage was reported.

Severe weather possible overnight into Thursday

A Flash Flood Warning is in effect until 2:30 a.m. for Kankakee and Will Counties in Illinois, and Lake and Newton counties in Indiana.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect until 1 a.m. for Ford, Iroquois, Kankakee and Will counties in Illinois.

In Indiana, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect until 2 a.m. for Benton, Porter, Jasper, Newton, and Lake counties.

In Wisconsin, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect until 1 a.m. for Columbia; Dodge; Fond du Lac; Green Lake; Kenosha; Marquette; Milwaukee; Ozaukee; Racine; Sheboygan; Washington; Waukesha counties.

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