Nearly 100 000 without power as severe thunderstorms hit Chicago, Illinois

Nearly 100 000 without power as severe thunderstorms hit Chicago, Illinois

A part of a line of severe thunderstorms swept over Chicago, Illinois metropolitan area on Sunday, June 30, 2019, causing damage throughout the city and leaving nearly 100 000 customers without power.

Winds as high as 119 km/h (74 mph) hit northern Illinois Sunday afternoon (CDT), leaving nearly 100 000 customers across the state without power. Chicago area recorded wind gusts over 96 km/h (60 mph), with 101 km/h (63 mph) at Rockford airport.

Power company ComEd said they sent over 200 crews to restore electricity. As of 05:56 UTC on July 1 (00:56 CDT), 44 626 customers are still without power.

The storms caused damage throughout the city and halted racing at Chicagoland Speedway. Three preliminary tornado reports came in around 16:30 CDT - one near Platte Creek and others in Gregory County.

More than 300 000 customers were without power across the eastern U.S. by Sunday afternoon.

"The storms were part of what’s known as a Mesoscale Convective System, or an MCS for short. This is a group of thunderstorms that moves together, often producing damaging winds and occasional tornadoes. These are fairly typical during the late spring and summer," Meteorologist Chris Bianchi noted.

"More storms are possible in the Chicago area over the next few days, but they shouldn’t be quite as strong as Sunday’s."

Featured image credit: NOAA/GOES-East. Acquired: 22:50 UTC on June 30, 2019.

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