Strong storms cause power outages, down trees and damage homes across north and west suburbs

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Sunday, June 23, 2024
Strong storms down trees, damage homes in north and west suburbs
Wisconsin storms shredded a home's roof in Williams Bay, near Lake Geneva. Crews were also cleaning up Illinois storm damage on Sunday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Bells tolled ahead of a Sunday service at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Downers Grove.

The church's steeple is on a tilt after the overnight storms ripped off its siding.

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Parishioners paused before the service to look at nearby damage.

"Our organist called and said, 'The people from 7 News are here and they are taking pictures. You might want to come now,'" said Pastor Tim Robertson.

Robertson said the steeple will need major repairs or will have to be replaced.

"We'll leave that up to other people. I, a pastor, I don't build," Robertson said.

Nearly 20,000 ComEd customers were without power Sunday morning.

Nearby, cellphone video shows a transformer painting the storm an orange and red hue as it explodes in the distance.

Downers Grove resident Chris Gilmartin captured the moment the transformer ignited.

"I looked out my back window, and I could hear some very heavy buzzing," Gilmartin said. "And then, we heard some really loud buzzing, and it appeared to be fire coming from the transformer."

To Chicago's north, in Bristol, Wisconsin near Antioch, crews with chainsaws worked to clear a large tree knocked over by the winds.

"The tornado sirens were going off, and we got alerts that they were tornado warnings. I don't know if one actually touched down, but the storms were getting pretty crazy," said Bristol resident Rachel Aker.

And in Williams Bay, Wisconsin near Lake Geneva, the storm caused structural damage to homes, shredding a house's roof and blowing in windows.

"We were sitting in the sunroom, and all of a sudden, we saw a lot of wind coming down, saw some flying debris, ran into the basement, and it got really loud for a few minutes. Came upstairs, our entire swing set is gone. We started looking around and saw a lot of the home's roof was gone," said Williams Bay resident Lexi Kinney.

Sunday will not be as hot but is expected to remain warm with high temperatures in the mid-80s. The humidity will drop throughout the day.

Severe weather and extreme heat could return on Tuesday with high temperatures potentially reaching the upper-90s before it turns significantly cooler mid-week. A line of strong storms is possible Tuesday morning morning.

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