Severe Storms Leave Outages, Tree Damage In Chicago Area

CHICAGO (AP) — Severe thunderstorms swept through the Chicago area and northern Illinois early Thursday with high winds that left thousands of homes and businesses without power.

The National Weather Service said several areas recorded wind gusts in excess of 60 mph that knocked down tree limbs or toppled whole trees, damaging some power lines.

Weather observers recorded a 64 mph wind gust at the DuPage Airport in DuPage County about 3 a.m., while the Chicago Executive Airport in Cook County had a 55 mph wind gust.

ComEd reported that more than 24,000 of its customers remained without power about 7:20 a.m.

The Illinois Department of Transportation said some trees were toppled in Waukegan just before 4 a.m., as the storms pushed across the area.

The National Weather Service said “life-threatening” swim conditions were expected Thursday on Lake Michigan as a cold front moves its way through the area, bringing cooler, less humid air.

According to a beach hazard statement, waves of 4 to 7 feet and rip currents are expected along the lake in Cook County and in northwestern Indiana's Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties until Friday evening.