UPDATED 11/22/10 10:44 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS/STMW) – The round of severe weather which has hit the Chicago area and led to severe weather warnings has resulted in numerous delays and some cancellations of Metra trains during Monday’s evening rush.
The National Weather Service has issued warnings for severe thunderstorms and flash floods, as well as a tornado watch.
The weather service reported a tornado was believed to have touched down in Winnebago County near Caledonia, near Argyle Road and Harlem and Paulson roads on Monday afternoon. In its wake it left numerous homes and garages partially collapsed, a grain silo destroyed and leaking grain into the street, a large barn completely down, a large substation damaged and high tension power lines down, according to the weather service.
Penny Kolb of Caledonia was in the thick of it. She told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman that she was in her closet, saying, “Dear God, don’t let that (ceiling) come down on me,” when the twister hit.
Her home is in one of the big debris pockets. Still, she considers herself lucky. Normally, she is sleeping during the day, but Monday she was awake and able to react.
“I saw a lot of swirling out my window,” Kolb said.
When she re-emerged she found broken windows. Part of her upper floor was ripped away.
CBS 2 viewer Thomas Barry witnessed the tornado and says, “I was sitting at work and my girlfriend called me and said there was a tornado outside, I got up and looked outside and there was a single tornado running through town. I was pretty weird to see, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
A school bus rolled over at Paulson and Harlem Road, resulting in six children being sent to hospitals, a meteorologist said.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding Reports
There were multiple reports of funnel clouds in the area, but other reported tornadoes, according to the weather service.
About 3:15 p.m. a funnel cloud was spotted about two miles due west of the Motorola plant in Harvard, in McHenry County, according to the weather service.
A funnel cloud was also spotted northwest of Sugar Grove just after 4 p.m., but it did not touch down, NIU Meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste said.
The flash flood warning was in effect until 10 p.m. for Cook County, according to the weather service.
At 4:06 p.m. weather service Doppler Radar indicated slow-moving storms across the area, with a line producing heavy rainfall approaching the area. Rainfall rates with the initial area of storms was about half an inch per hour, but the next line was producing rainfall rates of more than one inch per hour, according to the weather service.
In Chicago, there was street flooding with 6 to 7 inches of water on the road at 6000 N. Lincoln Avenue, near the intersection at Peterson Avenue, about 4 p.m., according to the weather service.
There was also a severe thunderstorm warning in effect until 5 p.m. for Cook, DuPage, Kendall, southeastern Kane, southeastern Lake and western Will counties, according to the weather service.
At 4:04 p.m. weather service radar indicated a line of severe storms capable of producing quarter-sized hail and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph, extending from Schaumburg to Ottawa and moving east at 45 mph. These were expected to affect northern and northwest suburban areas.
A tornado watch was also issued until 6 p.m. The weather service warns that severe thunderstorms can produce damaging winds, in excess of 60 mph, with very heavy rain, large hail and deadly lightning.
Motorists are urged not to drive into areas where water covers the road.
As of about 5:20 p.m., about one dozen Metra trains, mainly serving the west and northwest suburbs, were either delayed or canceled because of the inclement weather.
The weather roller coaster began before the rains came and will last through the Thanksgiving weekend, according to the weather service. Monday’s high reached 66 degrees at 4 p.m., just shy of 1913’s record high temperature of 69 degrees.
But the warmth won’t last for long with Tuesday’s high expected to reach just 41 with the night’s temperature expected to dip to 29 degrees.
By Thanksgiving, the area will see a 40 percent chance of snow and a high of 44 degrees with a blustery low of 21 on Thursday night, the weather service said.