Evanston Cleaning Up Major Storm Damage After Apparent Microburst

CHICAGO (CBS) — A massive cleanup effort was underway in north suburban Evanston, after an apparent microburst during a brief but powerful storm ripped up trees, and left behind flooded streets.

The storm lasted only about 30 minutes, but toppled dozens of trees, uprooting portions of a sidewalk and damaging a playground.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Mary Kay Kleist said the damage likely was caused by a microburst – a localized but powerful downdraft within a thunderstorm that can cause extensive damage.

Evanston homeowner John Schmidt said two trees were knocked down in front of his house, and another was knocked down in the back yard.

“The one in my back yard took out my power line,” he said.

Schmidt said he had to ride his motorcycle to work Thursday morning, because his car was parked between two downed trees, and he couldn’t get out.

At least half a dozen cars along the 2300 block of Harrison Street were damaged by fallen trees.

One Evanston homeowner said her house was hit by the limbs of a large fallen tree.

“I am so thankful that that is all that happened, because I was home working. My two children were home, and it just scared the daylights out of everybody,” Lisa Sparrow said. “The wind just kept gusting and gusting, and usually you expect a break, and it just kept going, and I was literally expecting to see the wicked witch go by on an umbrella, and trees fly up. I have never seen anything like that.”

Part of the roof of a parking garage at NorthShore Evanston Hospital also was ripped off. Hospital operations were not affected.

Evanston forestry crews were out all night to clean up debris from streets and sidewalks at more than a dozen locations.

No injuries were reported.

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