Storms spawn tornadoes in Chicago area

August 5, 2008 5:30:34 PM PDT
Crews began cleaning up downed trees and restoring power across northern Illinois on Tuesday after a line of powerful storms ripped through the area, spawning at least two tornadoes. The National Weather Service confirmed that tornadoes touched down in the Chicago suburbs of Bloomingdale and Bolingbrook late Monday. A third tornado touched down in Griffith, Ind.

A tornado and other high winds damaged 25 homes, including two left uninhabitable when winds ripped off parts of roofs, said Bolingbrook Assistant Fire Chief Robert Mierop. No one was injured.

Strong winds also damaged buildings and flooded streets across the northern part of the state late Monday, and lightning is being blamed for several fires.

Another line of thunderstorms left tens of thousands without power early Tuesday in north-central Illinois.

Parts of central and southern Illinois were under severe thunderstorm warnings Tuesday, and the weather service predicted more strong winds and the possibility of hail. Weather damage - including standing water, downed tree limbs and blinking traffic lights - snarled rush-hour traffic in the Chicago area.

More than 100 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday morning, according to aviation department spokesman Gregg Cunningham. He said airlines are catching up after last night's storms and delays are minor. A few flights are delayed about an hour at Midway.

Monday's storm prompted tornado warnings in downtown Chicago. Fans were evacuated from the stands at Chicago's Wrigley Field and travelers from the upper levels of terminals at O'Hare International Airport.

Storms were being blamed for one death Monday. In northwestern Indiana, a tree fell on a car and killed the 23-year-old driver, LaPorte County Deputy Coroner John Sullivan said.