City Prepared For Possible Severe Thunderstorms

CHICAGO (STMW) – Officials from the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications and the Chicago Fire Department Sunday morning urged residents to prepare for the possibility of “a significant and dangerous outbreak of severe thunderstorms” Sunday night.

“According to the National Weather Service, there is a chance that a significant and dangerous outbreak of severe thunderstorms could arrive in the Chicago area between 6 p.m. — 10 p.m.,” Jose Santiago, executive director of OEMC, said at the office headquarters on the Near West Side Sunday morning. “The severe weather system, if it hits our area, could bring with it damaging winds, large hail in excess of two inches and the potential of violent tornado activity.

“Our message this morning is simple: Chicago residents need to be aware that we could experience severe weather, and take precautions now, before the severe weather arrives,” Santiago said.

The Shamrock Shuffle, which begins at 9 a.m., will not be affected by the upcoming weather conditions, Santiago said. Although it will be warm and humid, event organizers are prepared for the weather and runners should stay hydrated, Santiago said.

Santiago encourages residents to remove debris from around sewers before the storm arrives so water can drain.

“Contrary to popular belief, tornadoes can strike major cities,” Santiago said. “Again, it is possible that we won’t experience any storm activity in our area.”

But Santiago encouraged people to be prepared and families should have an emergency plan in place. The city may activate the emergency warning system, which includes sirens, Santiago said. The sound of the siren will go up and down repeatedly for three minutes. If people hear the sound while outside, they should get inside immediately. Once the threat has passed, the sirens would be a steady sound for three minutes.

The OEMC is going to continue to monitor the conditions throughout the day, according to Santiago who has informed all the city’s department heads of the situation and will stay in contact throughout the day with updates.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Dan Rakow

    I’m praying for everybody throughout Northern and Central Illinois and Southern And central Wisconsin the area that are in a moderate risk for Severe Weather to take cover immediately when big storms hit and hopefully nobody would get hurt and should any miracles happens hopefully there will be no property damage although Your life is very important during dangerous storms.

    During the first Tuesdays of each Month I listen to the Storm Warning Sirens when they test them somthin that everybody will very likely will be hearing this evening with possiblity of isolated tornadoes that could ecompany with severe storms.

  • Ken Watson

    This better not happen, because I’m sick of people scaring me like that.

  • Secure construction sites

    The city says move stuff from around storm sewers. The biggest threat is from scaffolds, construction cranes and loose material on construction sites. The workers have gone home on Friday and at that time did not know of the pending storm.

  • J. Louis

    And to all those who decided to drive on Lake Shore Drive during the last big snow storm, please do not drive, walk, or swim in:
    1 The Lake
    2 Fast, Running Water
    3 Water that is higher than your wheel wells or your belt buckle
    4 Low lying areas near the Chicago River
    5 Open fields with a steel umbrella
    Finally, please do not walk on any train tracks. Even if you SWEAR there’s no train on the way.

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