Thousands without power as storm pounds Chicago with 70 mph wind gusts

Severe storms with 70 mph wind gusts pushed through the Chicago area Monday afternoon, leaving widespread damage and hundreds of thousands without power across northern Illinois.

The storm pushed through quickly about 4 p.m., but residual high winds over 60 mph were possible, according to the National Weather Service.

A severe thunderstorm watch expires at 7 p.m.

More than 115,000 ComEd customers were affected by power outages Monday afternoon, according to ComEd. Nearly 3,000 of them were in Cook County.

A gust of 72 mph was recorded at Midway International Airport shortly before 4 p.m., the weather service said. O’Hare recorded a gust of 62 mph.

Reports of damage were most heavily reported on the Northwest Side, according to the Chicago Fire Department. Blue Line trains were halted near O’Hare about 5 p.m. while crews worked to clear debris from the tracks.

Firefighters also responded to several fires caused by fallen power lines. One fire in the 1800 block of South Canalport was caused by wind damage to a building under construction. No injuries were reported.


Forecasters warned of widespread damage as the storm approached during the evening rush. The weather service issued a tornado warning that expired 4:30 p.m. in northern Chicago, DuPage and some northern suburbs.

The storm approached Chicago at 50 to 60 mph from Nebraska and Iowa, where the storm ripped through trees and left at least 350,000 people lost power.

Tuesday and Wednesday calls for a slight chance of storms in southern Cook County.