WEATHER

A Strong Storm And At Least One Tornado Struck The Chicago Suburbs

Jun 21, 2021, 3:42 PM
Storm damage is seen Monday in Woodridge, Illinois. (WLS)

WLS

17277761...
Storm damage is seen Monday in Woodridge, Illinois. (WLS) WLS 17277761
(WLS)

(CNN) — A massive storm and at least one tornado ripped through Chicago suburbs late Sunday, injuring 11 people and damaging hundreds of homes.

The line of severe storms will continue to track east Monday, with the strongest storms expected in late afternoon and evening from southern Ohio and West Virginia to Maine. The slight risk of severe storms in this area extends east to Washington, DC, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

In Naperville, some 30 miles west of Chicago, eight people were taken to hospitals with injuries — five by ambulance and three in private vehicles, Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis said at an afternoon news conference.

As of Monday afternoon, the most seriously injured person had been upgraded from critical to fair condition, he said.

“It looks like everybody that was involved, who was injured in this accident, is going to survive,” he said.

The storm damaged about 130 homes and left 22 of them uninhabitable, Puknaitis said.

Fire crews found one home leveled and a couple of other houses with severe damage, the chief said earlier in the day.

“There were people that were trapped in the house that was really leveled by the wind damage,” Puknaitis said.

Eric Lenning, the meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service office in Chicago, said he’s “absolutely” certain a tornado struck Naperville, but he and others will have to survey all the damage before deciding how to designate the tornado’s strength on the 1-through-5 EF scale.

“There’s a lot of EF1 damage,” he said at the afternoon briefing. “The damage to homes gets into the EF2 range.”

City authorities said many citizens apparently reacted to tornado sirens and cell phone notifications and found shelter before the worst of the storm struck.

Naperville City Manager Doug Krieger said about 1,000 customers lost power. Power has been restored to all but about 300 customers and he hoped they’d have power before the end of the day.

“It all happened so fast, I can’t even tell you,” Naperville resident Dennis Wenzel said. “I just heard the loudest roar of wind come in and the house, the pressure, just kind of like moved the windows and everything.”

In Woodridge, about six miles to the west, about 100 home were severely damaged after a tornado touched down, city police said in a news release posted on Twitter.

Lisle-Woodridge Fire Chief Keith Krestan said three people were taken to hospitals, but their injuries were unknown.

Woodridge Police Chief Brian Cunningham said the city received more than 200 calls for help, as the tornado, about three blocks wide, touched down around 11:10 p.m. and traveled approximately 3 miles from west to east.

“During that path, there was a lot of destruction, mostly of homes and some multifamily dwellings,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said around 6,500 people were impacted by power outages and around 2,500 remained without power.

More than 150,000 customers are without power after storms swept across the Midwest, according to PowerOutage.US. Michigan alone had more than 90,000 customers without power on Monday afternoon.

At least one tornado hit, weather service says

The Sunday night storm could end up being “the first strong tornado (EF-2+) in the metro counties since 2015,” the National Weather Service in Chicago tweeted.

“We have enough evidence on radar, damage reports, and storm spotter reports to say we’ve had a tornado in at least part of that area if not all those communities,” NWS Chicago said.

The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning around 11:43 p.m. ET, shortly before the storms passed through the Naperville area.

Correction: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Chief Krestan’s last name.

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A Strong Storm And At Least One Tornado Struck The Chicago Suburbs