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Chicago Area Cleaning Up After Storm That Spawned Five Tornadoes

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(CBS) – Chicago area residents are now in clean-up mode after powerful storms Monday evening.

The south suburbs were hit especially hard hit with heavy and powerful winds toppling trees and power lines all across the southland.

The National Weather Service reports five EF-1 tornadoes touched down in Illinois during the storm Monday. The tornadoes touched down near Earlville, Plainfield, rural Kendal County, near Grant Park and also near Morris.

Roofs ripped were ripped clean off in Earlville, and on Tuesday morning, the streets were filled with the sounds of chainsaws and power generators as residents walked through neighborhoods checking on each other.

CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports that for some of the 1,800 residents of the sleepy little town, it became life or death

“I hear this horrible noise and I look at my phone and it was exactly 9:25,” said Willis Collins.

The storm destroyed Trishia Scudder’s house.

“God was with us last night for sure… we shouldn’t be here,” said Trisha Scudder. “It’s amazing that we made it out of there alive,” said Scudder.

The home is likely a loss with significant foundation damage.

In Plainfield, CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports along Route 126, giant trees have been uprooted. Farther down the road an ancient tree that was split into pieces by the tornadic winds still blocks the road it used to be in Eddie Hasan’s front yard.

“It started hailing down with rain and wind,” said Hassan. “It started it was scary,” said Hasan.

The winds also downed power lines. The Quinn family of Plainfield are among those still without power, but were able to come home with a generator.

In less than an hour the generator was unpacked, filled with gas and oil

ComEd has told the Quinn family it may be as long as 3 days before power is back

There was an impressive amount of damage in Morris as strong winds destroyed the Walmart Garden Center, with tents ripped apart and carts tipped over. Trees were also knocked down across town.

In Flossmoor, CBS 2’s Marissa Baily reports a baseball field in Leavitt Park was flooded and lots of traffic lights were out throughout the area Monday, making travel tough, but it seemed like the trees took the brunt of this storm.

The Matteson Motel was almost at full capacity when the storms ripped through, and management forced everyone out when bathroom ceilings started to collapse.

Olga Fisher went to work this morning but was sent home, which was a good thing given the state of the trees in her yard.

“It got really bad,” said Fisher.

And it wasn’t just trees cut by the force of the winds. Power was also cut to the Matteson and Chicago Heights area, leaving signs dark and gas stations empty.

As ComEd crews tackle the neighborhoods and power problems, officials say it could take days to be back to normal.

“It’s down wires as well and when the poles go down that takes down transformers as well so it is that kind of damage that we’re dealing with at this point,” said Fidel Marquez of ComEd.

As of 9:30 p.m. 117,250 were without power in the Chicago area.

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