Supercell thunderstorm rips through Chicago with 90 mph gusts, tearing roof from building

The National Weather Service sent survey crews to the Schaumburg area Tuesday morning to confirm whether or not a tornado had touched down the night before.

A survey team may also investigate possible tornado damage in and around Bellwood —a western suburb where wind during Monday evening’s supercell thunderstorm ripped off the roof of an apartment building, displacing 30 families but injuring no one.

Although there has been no confirmed tornado, there was a trail of heavy damage along the path of the storm —which had 90 mph gusts — from Kane County to northwest Indiana.

ComEd said more than 53,000 customers lost power, with suburban Maywood taking the brunt with 44,000 outages. More than 43,000 remained without power Tuesday morning.

Brookfield Zoo sustained “significant” damage from the storm and was delaying its opening Tuesday until the afternoon. “Animals and staff are safe,” the zoo wrote on Twitter.

Trees down at Brookfield Zoo as a result of Monday’s storm.
Trees down at Brookfield Zoo as a result of Monday’s storm.

Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo

Videos posted to Twitter showed severe damage to a parking garage wall at the Toyota dealer in Lincoln Park. Part of a wall collapsed at the Toyota of Lincoln Park dealership at 1561 N. Freemont St., but no one was injured, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said.

The city also received numerous reports of felled trees, making some roads impassable and covering cars with branches. Accompanying damages was reported but no reports of injuries caused by the storm, the Fire Department spokesman said.

At Schaumburg Regional Airport, two parked airplanes were reportedly blown over.

Winds gusted to 84 mph at O’Hare Airport and 69 mph at Midway Airport. A ground stop was ordered at O’Hare by the Federal Aviation Administration.

There were also reports of hail 1 inch in diameter.

Despite the rotating nature of the storm, there was no confirmed tornado, National Weather Service meteorologist Ricky Castro said Monday evening. “It’s possible there was a tornado in the northern suburbs, but it’s not something we can conclusively say until we can get a crew to survey the area,” Castro said.


Thousands were jolted by Weather Service warnings sent to cellphones that read: “Take shelter now in a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.”

The storm moved through the northern suburbs at 30 mph before turning southeast and increasing in speed before making its way through the city at 7 p.m., Castro said. “Warnings went out well in advance,” he said.

The weather also delayed the start time for a Cubs game against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field as fans sought shelter in the Friendly Confines.

The storms ushered in rising temperatures that are expected to reach the high 90s Tuesday and Wednesday. The city has opened its cooling centers as forecasters predict that humidity will make it feel more like 110 degrees.

Here’s a look at some of the storm’s damage as captured by users on social media:

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