Storms Pummel Chicago Area

Clouds hang ominously over The Loop Friday as storms barrel into the region. (Art Cunningham)

Clouds hang ominously over The Loop Friday as storms barrel into the region. (Art Cunningham)

(CBS)— The Labor Day weekend kicked off Friday with immensely powerful thunderstorms that felled trees and power lines, temporarily halted some commuter rail lines and brought the threat of flooding to the Chicago region.

The area was under a thunderstorm warning through the early evening. There were numerous reports of hail, storm-related damage, and even fires that may have been caused by lightning. At a Skokie fire scene, at least two firefighters were sent to the hospital for heat-related injuries, an official told a photographer there.

The high winds that descended on the Chicago region around 5 p.m. created headaches for commuters the Metra Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific North lines. Trains were halted temporarily; the Union Pacific West Line also was affected.

Nearly 63,000 ComEd customers were without power late Friday.

A flooding advisory was in effect for parts of the Chicago area.

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