Storms knock out power for thousands as dangerous heat plagues Chicago area
BELLWOOD, Ill. - As temperatures soared on Tuesday, many suburban families were hit with a perfect storm. In Bellwood, residents were not only busy cleaning up the mess Mother Nature left, but some also had no way to escape the brutal heat.
"Excruciating, hot, hot," said Lashawn Campbell. "You step into that survival mode."
Campbell went nearly 24 hours without power until ComEd restored service to her debris-filled street Tuesday evening.
As of 9 p.m., ComEd had restored power to over 100,000 customers after powerful storms tore through the Chicago area Monday. Officials said crews would continue working throughout the night and into tomorrow to restore power to the remaining roughly 7,500 customers.
"There’s nothing to do, but sweat," said Campbell.
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Near 50th and Randolph, some residents were expected to be in the dark until at least 10 p.m.
"I tell people, don’t go to Hell. I’m dead honest. That’s how hot it really is," said Lennel McGee.
Some – finding creative ways to beat the heat.
"I get in my car and run the air conditioner," said Derrick Lowe.
Near 24th and Washington, downed trees destroyed cars and caused damage to nearby homes.
"We’re all safe, it could have been worse than what it is," said Miguel Martinez, whose tree fell in his front yard, causing damage to his roof.
Down the street, incredibly, no one in a three-story apartment building was seriously injured when a portion of the roof was torn off on Monday evening. Still, 17 families have been displaced.
"Everybody was crying last night, it was terrible," said Dorothy Morris.
Aerial shots show an unbelievable view inside the building.
The American Red Cross responded to the apartment complex to help and is continuing to assist displaced residents with food, clothing, and shelter.
Some are staying in hotels, while others will stay with relatives.
Officials are working to make sure that all residents, especially those without a home, are staying safe during this week’s extreme heat.
"It really is kind of a one-two punch for folks who were affected by this," said Brian Nestler, Regional Response Manager of Red Cross of Illinois. "You don't want to be out here in this heat. This is a time when we should come together and really be checking on each other and making sure everyone is really taken care of."
It's unclear what will happen with the structure moving forward.
FOX 32 reached out to Bellwood’s Department of Buildings, but did not immediately hear back.
With another day of extreme heat anticipated Wednesday, if you need relief, you're encouraged to dial 311 to locate your nearest cooling center.