Timeline: How the tornado in Naperville and Woodridge unfolded one year ago

  • Debris from tornado-damaged homes in Naperville littered front yards a year ago.

      Debris from tornado-damaged homes in Naperville littered front yards a year ago. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, June 2021

  • A tornado pummeled a Woodridge neighborhood one year ago.

      A tornado pummeled a Woodridge neighborhood one year ago. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer June 2021

Updated 6/18/2022 5:08 PM

One year ago, a Father's Day tornado -- the strongest tornado to hit the metro region since 2015 -- inflicted miles of damage as it tore through southern DuPage County.

Communities in Naperville and Woodridge were the hardest hit. The twister damaged hundreds of homes, injured at least 11 people and caused a Woodridge woman to lose her unborn child.


Here's how the night of June 20, 2021, unfolded.

10:43 p.m.

The weather service issued the first tornado warning of the night for western DuPage County, roughly 19 minutes before it touched the ground.

About 11:02 p.m.

The tornado touched down near Route 59 and 75th Street on the western edge of the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. Meteorologists surveying the damage the next day found shopping cart corrals scattered on the east side of a Walmart parking lot, likely the beginning stages of what would turn into a tornado.

11:05 p.m.

A second tornado warning went out for southern DuPage and parts of western Cook County. There already was a warning in effect, but for the majority of the tornado path from Woodridge eastward, the lead time was anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, according to the National Weather Service.

11:06 to 11:11 p.m.

At its strongest, the tornado roared across the Ranchview neighborhood just south of 75th Street in Naperville. Winds peaked at around 140 mph, garnering an EF-3 rating on the zero-to-5 Enhanced Fujita scale.

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The weather service assigned the rating based on a pocket of damage around Princeton Circle, where the tornado reduced a two-story home to its foundation.

As it rumbled east, the tornado left homes in shambles, breaking windows, tearing off siding and roof shingles, and uprooting trees.

Houses between Woodridge Drive and Basswood Lane took the brunt of the damage in Woodridge.

11:20 p.m.

Radar suggested the tornado lofted debris as high as 15,000 to 20,000 feet.

About 11:25 p.m.

The tornado lifted south of the Des Plaines River in Willow Springs near the Tri-State Tollway. It stayed on the ground for almost 18 miles.

5:18 a.m. June 21

At sunrise, the light of a Monday morning revealed the extent of damage from the tornado's wrath.

It struck densely populated areas at night when tornadoes often are deadlier. The weather service found mostly EF-2 damage along the tornado's path.

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