LIVE radar: Strong storms down trees, power lines; 2 more rounds of severe weather possible

Severe storm risk highest for Wednesday morning, with Chicago area under 10% risk of a strong tornado

Thursday, April 6, 2023
Strong storms down trees; more rounds of severe weather possible
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Power lines were left dangling on the northeast side of Oak Park when a massive, old tree toppled over.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Strong storms blew through the Chicago area Tuesday, bringing high winds and hail. The city and suburbs are bracing two more rounds of potentially severe weather over the next 24 hours.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning for LaSalle County in Illinois has expired.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning for DeKalb, Kane and Kendall counties has also expired.

A storm cell was moving into LaSalle County at about 8:20 p.m., said ABC7 Meteorologist Larry Mowry. That storm may strengthen and produce some hail, and wind gusts up to 60 mph are possible.

Areas to the west and northwest of the city are at an enhanced risk of severe weather, with the rest of the area at a slight risk for severe storms. However, Mowry said any storms that fire up out to our west are expected to move north and east into Wisconsin.

Nearly 3-inch hail and high winds were reported in parts of the Chicago area as the first round of severe storms hit early Tuesday afternoon.

WATCH | Large tree falls on cars in Lincoln Park amid severe weather

Chicago fire officials said a localized but high wind force storm passed through Chicago from the west, resulting in significant roof damage and trees and power poles down.

WATCH | Strong storms down trees as more rounds of severe weather possible

The storm hit west suburban Oak Park first, where it ripped shingles off the roof of a church as people inside the church prepared for Good Friday and Easter services.

"I was sitting on a chair and it actually felt like the wind was trying to pull away one of the outside walls, that's what it felt like," officer manager Joycelin Fowler said.

WATCH | Severe storms damage Oak Park church

ComEd crews scrambled around the city and suburbs, working into the dark to restore electricity to thousands of customers.

Power lines were left dangling on the northeast side of Oak Park when a massive, old tree toppled over with the force of high afternoon wind. The early spring storm blew in fast.

WATCH | West suburbs hit hard by severe storms

"We heard the wind and the sky got really, really black," said Oak Park resident Lori Malinski.

Large chunks of hail clattered down over the western suburbs, large enough to resemble golf balls.

Firefighters said one woman was injured inside a port-a-potty when the wind knocked it over with her inside.

It kept moving east, shearing of the roof of Reb Steel in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood on the West Side. Bricks laid crumbled in large piles around the manufacturing facility, where, fortunately, no employees inside were hit with falling debris.

As of about 2:50 p.m., 69 flights had been canceled at O'Hare airport and six had been canceled at Midway.

WATCH: Large hail pelts Aurora, Illinois

While some suburban areas saw storm warnings on Tuesday evening, the better chance for severe weather in the Chicago area will be on Wednesday morning.

As a strong cold front moves in, Mowry said there is potential for severe storms to bring strong winds, hail and possibly tornadoes from 7 a.m. to noon. Much of the city and nearby suburbs are at enhanced risk for severe weather, with areas to the west and northwest at a slight risk.

WATCH | 2 more rounds of severe storms possible in next 24 hours

There is a 10% risk for tornadoes, and if they do form, they would likely be strong, ABC7 Chicago Meteorologist Greg Dutra said.

Over 80 tornadoes have ripped through 14 states in the last several days. Illinois was the hardest hit with 22 tornadoes. Indiana was right behind with 20.

The same conditions that fueled last week's storms - an area of low pressure combined with strong southerly winds - will make conditions ideal for another round of severe weather Tuesday into early Wednesday, Bunker said.

WATCH | Ping pong ball size hail pelts Bureau County, Illinois

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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