Lemont house struck by lightning, 6,800 without power - FOX 32 News Chicago

Lemont house struck by lightning, 6,800 without power after storms

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

More than 6,800 ComEd customers in the Chicago area are without power after storms passed through Chicago area Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service logged reports of a funnel cloud in Will County and a possible tornado touchdown west of Chicago.

PHOTOS: Storm pelts Chicago with tornadoes, winds, hail

For the metropolitan area, those feared Derecho winds might have been just a lot of hot air - most of the metro was spared from severe storms.

Severe-storm warnings sent fearful commuters home from work early, canceled classes for high school and college students and scratched a concert at Millennium Park.

"We suspect a tornado or multiple tornadoes from the Paw Paw area in Illinois trough Somonauk and south of Yorkville," said National Weather Service meteorologist Ben Deubelbeiss. "The Chicago area didn't get hit because the cool air off Lake Michigan weakened the hot moist air that fuels thunderstorms."

Suburbs to the south and west were not as lucky. There were reports of golf-ball size hail in Naperville, Bourbonnais and Aurora and Naperville. Winds topping 62 mph were reported in Lowell, nearly 100 miles southwest of the Chicago.

Closer to Chicago, nickel-size hail was reported in Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates.

Lightning hit a two-story house in the 16400 block of Alba in Lemont, causing a fire shortly before 6 p.m., but no one was injured, according to Lemont Fire Chief Carl Churulo.

Tornado sirens sounded in Joliet and elsewhere and there were reports of trees downed in Lockport and New Lenox.

The storm seemed ominous as it passed through Plainfield and blew around patio and deck furniture, said Chris Hinchliffe, a captain with the Plainfield Emergency Management Agency. "We did have a rotating wall cloud pass over," he said.

At the height of the evening rush, Metra halted inbound and outbound commuter rail service on its Union Pacific Northwest, West and North Lines as well as its Burlington Northern line to Aurora.

Flights at O'Hare Airport were delayed between 60 and 90 minutes because of rain, and 360 flights were canceled, according to the city's Department of Aviation. At Midway Airport, airlines canceled about 50 flights, and about 24 flights were delayed more than two hours.

As of 7 a.m., ComEd reported 6,813 customers were currently without power after a storm that affected 74,662 customers.

Sunny skies and light winds with temperatures in the 70s are expected until the weekend when heavy rain is expected to return.

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