Tornado tears through western suburbs Friday night, marking 14th in Chicago area this week

13 tornadoes touched down in Chicago area Wednesday

ByTre Ward and Stephanie Wade WLS logo
Sunday, July 16, 2023
Tornado tears through western suburbs, marking 14th in area this week
A Wheaton tornado began in Warrenville and moved through Glen Ellyn on Friday night, the National Weather Service said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- While most of the damage has been cleaned up, neighbors said the storm moved quickly, downing trees and power lines as people took cover in their homes.

Torrential rain pounded the western suburbs as an EF-0 tornado moved through DuPage County on Friday night.

The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado went from Warrenville to Wheaton to Glen Ellyn.

High winds uprooted a decades-old tree that Ron Whitfield planted in his Glen Ellyn front yard nearly 52 years ago, when he and his family moved in.

"'Wow,' I said to my wife, 'Our tree is gone,'" Whitfield said. "My neighbors to the west and to the east had big trees, and they're gone out of choice. So, I didn't have a say in this one."

High also damaged power lines.

O'Hare passengers took shelter in underground walkways Friday evening during severe storm warnings.

"Trees, everything blowing everywhere, then a big boom. Power went out," said Jack Casino, who lives in Wheaton.

Michael LaBianco, who lives in Warrenville, spoke with ABC7 while working on a generator, because his power went out, too.

"It was pretty quick and pretty strong," LaBianco said. "I looked out the basement window, and all these trees in here were bent sideways, and I hadn't seen anything like in a long time."

Linda DeCosta, another Warrenville resident, recalled the moment her power went out.

"We were just cooking dinner, and the power went off, and you just felt this weird feeling, like somethings going on," DeCosta said. "A good reminder of nature, and we need to take it seriously, because you just don't know."

DeKalb County was also battered by the storm, with some downed trees and branches littering the streets in Plano overnight.

A tree fell onto a home belonging to Yessenia Rodriguez's neighbor.

"With the strong winds and everything, it just made the tree fall over, the limbs and everything. It's kind of bad," Rodriguez said.

For the most part, power has been restored in this area and, thankfully, there are no reports of any injuries.

"It's just a tree, and when I look at what other people have to endure, I'm pretty lucky. I'm pretty lucky. We're pretty lucky," Whitfield said.

ABC7 Meteorologist Phil Schwarz said while the rotation was not as tight and the wind speeds not as strong as the system that produced 13 confirmed tornado touchdowns earlier this week.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in place for parts of the Chicago suburbs as a line of potentially severe storms moves closer.

There were 13 confirmed tornadoes that touched down in parts of the Chicago area Wednesday:

1. Burr Ridge to Stickney: EF 1

2. Elgin: EF-1

3. Huntley: EF-1

4. Elgin: EF-0

5. Oswego: EF-0

6. Barrington: EF-0

7. Long Grove: EF-0

8. Carol Stream to Glendale Heights: EF-0

9. Itasca to O'Hare: EF-0

10. O'Hare to Des Plaines: EF-0

11. Streamwood: EF-0

12. Schaumburg: EF-0

13. Loves Park in Caledonia Township/Boone County: EF-0

Those in need of housing are being encouraged to contact the American Red Cross of Illinois.