Thunderstorms hit Kane, DuPage counties but fizzle as thousands still without power
About 36,500 ComEd customers remained without power at 11 p.m. Wednesday after severe storms pushed through the suburbs Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, with a new line of storms Wednesday night hitting especially DuPage County but fizzling quickly.
Warnings for DuPage, Kane and some of Cook County expired, but a severe thunderstorm watch for the whole area lasts until 2 a.m.
The line of storms that rolled into the suburbs Tuesday night brought winds in excess of 60 mph, meteorologists reported.
Forecasts had called for a chance of severe thunderstorms with the possibility of 70 mph winds and limited risk of tornadoes, hail and flooding Wednesday night. But a storm system moved through quickly.
The storms starting Tuesday night downed trees in parts of the northern Fox Valley like Cary, Pingree Grove and Lake in the Hills. Many are without power in places as far south as Oak Brook and Naperville.
St. Charles Unit District 303 reported outages Wednesday morning at Munhall Elementary School, Richmond Intermediate School, Lincoln Elementary School, Haines Middle School and the administration center. Power was restored at each location late in the morning.
In Naperville Wednesday morning, downed trees blocked most of Washington Street near Martin Avenue, just south of downtown, but the road was reopened by early Wednesday afternoon.
The Elk Grove Police Department sent officers to the intersection of Busse Road and Oakton Street Wednesday morning to direct traffic due to a power outage affecting traffic lights.
The Dundee Township Park District closed the Randall Oaks Recreation Center and the zoo due to power outages, and canceled Wednesday's fitness classes.
"We heard thunder and the next thing the tree came down," said Laura McVearry, who lives in an unincorporated area of McHenry County near Crystal Lake. "Luckily it barely hit the house, definitely crushed both cars. We hunkered down in the basement for a little while but that was the most of it."
At its peak, nearly 200,000 ComEd customers were without power Tuesday, according to the utility.
High temperatures are expected to remain in the lower 90s through Thursday with heat indexes potentially reaching as high as 105 degrees.
The Lake County sheriff's office in Waukegan was closed Wednesday because of the power outage and unknown time of restoration.
The storm brought widespread damage throughout Lake County, with sheriff's deputies responding to about 100 weather-related calls for service, Lt. Chris Covelli said.
"Unlike many storms, these storm related calls were countywide and not confined to specific areas," he said.
The majority of calls were live power lines that had fallen or were arching, and trees that had fallen across roadways, Covelli said.
In Lakemoor, which straddles Lake and McHenry counties, village officials solicited information from residents via social media Tuesday night to mobilize and coordinate resources.
"People really stepped up," Village Administrator David Alarcon said. "We had significant damage -- many downed trees."
Damage was heaviest in the original part of the village, which has the most mature trees, north of Route 120 near Lily Lake, he said.
To the northeast in Lake Villa, trees were downed along Grand Avenue.
"We had 1,062 people without power at one point, which is about a third of our residents," Village Administrator Karl Warwick said.
About 397 were still without power at 7 a.m., he said.
• Daily Herald staff writers Jake Griffin, Kevin Schmit, Paul Valade and Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.