CHICAGO (WLS) -- Strong storms with winds at or above 70 miles per hour moved through the Chicago area Tuesday afternoon and evening, leaving destruction in their wake and bringing cold conditions with them.
ComEd said as of 3 a.m. Wednesday, 15,000 outages have been reported in their territory due to the storms, with areas near Rockford hit hardest. At the height of the storm, 85,000 customers were without power.
The utility company said later Wednesday it expected to restore service to 98% of remaining customers without power by 11 p.m.
The storms are part of a cold front that will end a record-breaking seven straight days of 70-degree November weather, blowing past the previous five-straight days of similar weather in 1953.
Temperatures dropped overnight, making Wednesday morning feel between 40 and 50 degrees cooler than Tuesday, the weather service said.
The line of strong storms raced through northern Illinois starting shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday.
No suburb was spared. From Kane and DuPage to McHenry counties, the fast-moving storms lit up the sky and then left a big mess in the dark.
In Aurora, the Guerrero family's car was crushed when winds took down a tree across the street.
"Out of nowhere I just heard like a big bang or something," said Gaudalup Guerrero. "And then we just opened the door and saw that."
Still the Guerreros consider themselves lucky, as just before the tree fell Guadalup and her mother were getting ready to head to work.
In Chicago, streets were flooded during rush hour and wind downed power lines.
Tent flaps for outdoor dining had to be secured, and temporary barriers blocking traffic for designated streets toppled right over in the wind, leaving Fulton Market a mess in the wake of a storm that left almost as quickly as it swept in.
The storms moved east at about 65 miles per hour, ABC7 Meteorologist Cheryl Scott said. Strong winds were the greatest threat from the storms, as well as torrential rain.
A wind gust of 79 mph was reported in the afternoon at Aurora Municipal Airport, the weather service said in a tweet.
Although it swept through quickly, the damage from the storms was far-reaching and will take much longer to assess and clean up in the aftermath.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.