Chicago Weather: Severe storms pelt city, suburbs with large hail

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Severe storms pelt Chicago with large hail
Severe thunderstorms pelted the Chicago area with large hail, high winds and heavy rain Monday evening.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Severe thunderstorms pelted the Chicago area with large hail, high winds and heavy rain as several rounds of storms swept through the area. The entire ABC7 viewing area was under a Tornado Watch for much of Monday afternoon and evening.

PHOTOS: Chicago area storm photos

In Kankakee, several trees were downed as the storms rolled through. Some trees fell onto cars, but no injuries were reported. In Marseilles, large hail damaged the police chief's windshield.

"It sounded like you were under attack from bombs. It was scary," said Diana Bergeron, greenhouse owner.

Bergeron and her sister ran for cover when baseball-sized hail pelted their greenhouse in Marseilles. They even saved some of it because they couldn't believe the size.

"The ones coming in through the ventilators, they were like shotguns," said Jackie Brewster, greenhouse owner.

Just east of I-55 in Dwight, rotating clouds caused enough concern some drivers pulled off the highway.

"It's getting so black, the wind is picking up and you can see the clouds starting to turn and funnel. We're just a bit nervous about them," said John Coker, who was driving to Chicago.

From Ottawa to Dwight, little funnel clouds were spotted trying to take shape, but never getting to the point where they threatened the ground below.

In Marseilles, a Buick dealership is getting ready for a "hail sale" after nearly every car on the lot sustained some damage.

"It was actually worse than I thought. We have a few cars that have craters in the tops of them," said Terry Bentz, Jr., dealership owner.

ComEd reported no significant power outages in the Chicago area as of 9:45 p.m.

Chicago Interactive Doppler Radar


The mayor of Watseka, a city in Iroquois County about 90 miles south of Chicago, declared a disaster after heavy rain caused flooding on Monday.

Several sections of the town were underwater Monday night after heavy rain caused the Iroquois River and Sugar Creek to spill over their banks.

Nearly an inch of rain fell on Monday, Mayor Bob Harwood said. Sandbagging efforts began on Sunday.


Temperatures reached into the 90s on Monday afternoon, but the heat index made it feel more like 100 degrees in parts of the Chicago area. A heat advisory was in effect from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. for LaSalle, Grundy and Kankakee County.

"We have dew points in the upper 70s," Scott said. "When we have dew points that high, combined with the high temperatures, the atmosphere is just primed for those storms to develop."

Flights are averaging 30-minute delays at both O'Hare and Midway international airports on Monday afternoon, and more than 200 flights have been canceled at O'Hare, officials said. As much as an inch of rain fell in some parts of the area. Because more rain is expected this afternoon, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the Chicago area until 1 a.m. Tuesday.


The first round of severe storms downed power lines and trees Monday morning, leaving thousands without power west of Sycamore and near DeKalb and Rockford, and also toppling several trees in north suburban Barrington. The high winds damaged part of the roof at the Barrington Public Works building. No one was hurt.

The high winds also led Metra to temporarily suspend service on three lines- Union Pacific West, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific North. All lines had major delays.

"It's going to mess up all my schedule for today," Tina Chen, Metra passenger, said. "It's a bad way to start a Monday."

Some commuters arriving at Union and Ogilvie stations got caught in the downpour.

"I was soaked this morning. I tried to dry myself in the bathroom with a drier," Sama Labi, Metra passenger, said.

Watch the latest ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast