Chicago weather: Hottest day of the year triggers severe storms

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The warmest day of the year triggered severe storms and other heat-related problems across the Chicago area on Wednesday.

PHOTOS: Severe storms drop large hail on Chicago area


Temperatures hit 90 degrees at O'Hare Airport, but a strong lake breeze developed Wednesday afternoon, causing temperatures to drop 15-20 degrees along the lakefront.

A line of severe storms developed south of the city on Wednesday afternoon. Damaging hail was reported south of the city and heavy rain prompted flash flood warnings.

"It started raining harder and then the hail just kept getting bigger and bigger. And we kept calling the kids in because they were kind of getting hit," said Rebecca Caves, a Minooka resident.

Residents in southwest suburban Minooka said baseball-sized hail damaged their car windshields and aluminum siding on their homes.

WATCH: ABC7 First Alert forecast

HEAT CAUSES EXPANSION IN ROADS, BRIDGES

Wednesday's heat also buckled pavement in Palatine near Route 53 and Dundee Road.

The heat also affects metal. The Chicago Fire Department was forced to pour water on downtown bridges to prevent parts from expanding.

FUN IN THE SUN

As temperatures rose Wednesday, many along Chicago area beaches and suburban water parks prepared for summer.

The Chicago Fire Department showed hundreds of kids how to be safe at the 57th Street Beach. They also demonstrated the types of rescues they're prepared to do if people get in trouble.

Meanwhile, those landlocked at lunchtime found a little bit of sun at Clark and Monroe in the Loop.

Families suited up for the pool in Calumet City had plenty of cooling options at the Green Lake Family Aquatic Center.

"We expect to be busy, we prepare ourselves, I call my guards early in the morning, I'm usually the first person here. So we're making sure everything is in order for the rush," said Terrill Gardner, aquatic manager, Green Lake Family Aquatic Center.
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