Chicago weather: Thunderstorms race through Chicago area, prompting warnings

ByEric Horng and ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Thunderstorms race through Chicago area
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Storms raced through the Chicago area Tuesday afternoon, prompting multiple warnings and causing flooding and damage..

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A line of strong storms raced through the Chicago area, prompting a cascade of severe thunderstorm warning and even a tornado warning near Joliet.

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As of 5:45 p.m., ComEd reported more than 22,000 people were without power, with the majority affected in the southwest suburbs.

Flights have been affected by the storm as well; as of 4:12 p.m. Midway International Airport reported 83 flights cancels and delays under 15 minutes while O'Hare International Airport reported 166 flights canceled and delays averaging 79 minutes.

A brief tornado warning was issued for Will County Tuesday afternoon, and two storm spotters reported a brief tornado touchdown near Minooka, though the National Weather Service has not yet confirmed those reports.

In the Minooka and Channahon area, yard after yard on block after block was littered with downed trees. Some ended up on homes, including a massive century-old Hackberry that put a hole in the roof of Jerry Breen's roof in Channahon.

"It was bad, that storm," he said. "It blew, and it blew hard. And I think that tree would've went, oo, if it weren't for the first tree."

In Minooka, residents cleaned up after emerging from their basements.

"It wasn't like we were waiting for 20 minutes for a storm to get here," said Jason Bisbee, Minooka resident. "It blew up, and we were in the basement."

"My daughter was alerting me on her phone that tornadoes were coming, so it just looked like really windy rain and we went in the basement for about 10 minutes, and when we came up there was a tree blocking the front entrance," said Traci McReynolds, Minooka resident.

Along with fierce winds the storms unleashed a deluge and dangerous hail. The windows of a Minooka school bus shattered just before students were scheduled to board.

"We were wondering where our son was because he was on his way to football practice at the local high school, so they were shelter in place," Bisbee said.

Trees and branches were downed in Highland Park, and there was flooding in Vernon Hills. Further west there was a massive hail storm as the thunderstorms marched east.

A line of thunderstorms raced through the Chicago area Tuesday afternoon, leaving a wake of storm damage, flooding and even prompting a south suburban tornado warning.

Storm spotters began reporting large hail in McHenry and Lake counties shortly after storms began rolling in. Radar has also indicated winds of up to 70 miles per hour in some areas.

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