The severe supercell thunderstorm that shoots through Chicagoland Monday night toppled planes, ripped the roof off at least one apartment building, dropped hail as large as 1.5 inches in diameter and left tens of thousands without power in its wake.
Out of 7:35 am Tuesday there were 745 active Commonwealth Edison outages, affecting 40,000 customers and as many as 4 million users, according to the ComEd outage map. An hour later, around 8:35 am the number of outages actually increased to 788, despite ComEd crews working around the clock to restore power to affected areas.
“It sounds like there’s widespread tree damage, a lot of power outages,” said Casey Sullivan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The storm formed east of Rockford before moving through Kane, McHenry and eventually Cook County and into northwest Indiana, he said.
In Cook County, 84 mph Southeast gusted at O’Hare International Airport. That was strong enough to turn over several planes at Schaumburg Regional Airport around 6:25 pm
Near Elk Grove Village around 6:30 pm, roofing material flying flying off an industrial building. The entire roof of a three-story apartment building was ripped off near Maywood around 6:50 pm
The system reached the Lake Michigan shoreline near downtown Chicago around 6:45 pm, with “several tree branches down just northwest of Montrose Harbor,” the weather service reported. Wind speeds of 64 knots were reported a few miles from Navy Pier and a buoy station near Calumet Harbor clocked wind speeds of 54 mph.
The BNSF railroad in Brookfield, between the Congress Park and Riverside stations around 7 pm post on social media.
Ten minutes later, the wall of a parking garage in Lincoln Park was “blown out,” according to the supercell storm system, which moved about 100 miles from Kane and McHenry counties to northwest Indiana Monday night.
And by 7:53 pm a tree fell and destroyed a home in Porter County, Indiana. 1.5 inches in diameter, according to trained weather spotters.
The Brookfield Zoo said it would delay opening until 1 pm after a scattered wind and felled trees throughout the park.
“We received significant damage to our grounds due to last night’s storm. We’ll be clearing down trees and pathways and assessing the extensive damage this morning, ”according to a statement from the zoo.
The meteorologists continued collecting damage reports early Tuesday.
“People are just waking up this morning to see how bad the damage is, and we’re going to send out a survey team to see if any damage is tornadic. We’re still piecing it together here, ”Sullivan said.
Radar data indicated a tornado was possible, but the weather service has not yet received any reports.
Tuesday’s cleanup efforts could be stalled by additional weather woes – but this time, the trouble will be the temperature.
Most of northern Illinois will remain under a heat advisory at least 8 pm Wednesday, according to the weather service. Cooling centers are to operate out of the city’s six community service centers, according to the Office of Emergency Management. Heat indicies reflect the “feel like” temp, could top 105 degrees and long-standing high temperature records will be threatened.
Tuesday’s rated high of 98 degrees is just the 99-degree record high for June 14, and Wednesday’s expected high of 97 degrees edges June 15 ‘historic high mark: 95 degrees set in 1994.
For more weather news visit the Tribune’s weather page and check back for updates.