Storms Cause Damage In Chicago Area

Nick Ulivieri took this picture of storm clouds hovering over downtown Chicago on Sept. 5, 2014. (Nick Ulivieri)

Nick Ulivieri took this picture of storm clouds hovering over downtown Chicago on Sept. 5, 2014. (Nick Ulivieri)

(STMW) — Heavy storms swept through the Chicago region Friday afternoon, leaving fallen trees and power lines and other damage in their wake.

Commonwealth Edison said a total of about of 45,000 outages had been reported as of about 4:45 p.m. Saturday, the majority in the northern suburbs.

In Schaumburg, the strong winds blew over the walls of a Chik-Fil-A restaurant under construction near the northwest corner of Schaumburg and Barrington Roads, police Sgt. John Nebl said. Workers were present at the time, but no one was hurt.

Winds also knocked down numerous trees and police were warning residents to drive with caution in the area.

Police in Northbrook were also warning of numerous downed trees, power lines and localized flooding.

In Palatine, winds estimated at 70 mph took down large trees, the weather service reported. Park Ridge saw 0.6 inches of rain in 15 minutes, resulting in some minor flooding.

Oakton Community College in Des Plaines reported experiencing a 65 mph wind gust, the weather service said. A wind gust in Highwood in Lake County was similar in strength and lasted six full minutes, a trained spotter reported.

A resident of the east side of Elgin said the area looked like a “war zone” after a microburst pelted the area about 2:30 p.m., leaving windows broken at the Hemmens Cultural Center, but no one injured, officials said. The damage to the civic center has led to cancellation of Friday night’s improv comedy show, officials announced.

Power lines are down in multiple locations, Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall told the Courier-News. A house fire there Friday afternoon is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike.

Airlines at O’Hare Airport are expecting delays throughout the afternoon and evening because of the storm, the city’s Department of Aviation said as of 3:30 p.m. Midway Airport is experiencing normal operations.

Metra trains on the Union Pacific North, Northwest and West lines were slowed because of high winds but normal service has resumed, the transit agency said on its website. Trains on the UP West line are operating with residual delays of 10-30 minutes.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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