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Chicago area hit by severe thunderstorms, tornadoes spotted

Bryan Alaspa's picture

A bizarre November storm system has hit the Chicago and southern Wisconsin area this afternoon. High winds, severe thunderstorms, lightning, hail and tornadoes were reported in areas in and around Chicago. Some of the storms hit Wisconsin and Rockford, which are near Chicago.

Three children in Caledonia, Illinois, received injuries when a bus they were riding in was knocked over in the high winds. Exactly how badly the children were hurt was unclear by late evening.

Damage extensive

Power lines were down in several areas, including Caledonia. In an area near Walworth, Wisconsin, two homes were damaged and it was theorized that tornadoes were responsible. The ruling of tornadoes and their severity are determined by weather experts based on the amount of damage.

There were also reports of another possible tornado near Lawrence, Illinois. Some areas near Rockford, Illinois, about 90 miles northwest of Chicago, also experienced high winds and a possible tornado. Tornado sirens went off in areas just north of Rockford and a local reporter snapped a photo of what appears to be a funnel cloud.

In Caledonia, according to locals, one business was “almost completely destroyed” and there were reports of a grain silo leaking grain onto the street. Other areas located northwest of Chicago also reported wind damage and there were more reports of tornadoes.

A flash flood warning has also been issued for much of the Chicago area heavy downpours continue to hammer the area. At some points the rainfall has fallen at a rate of over an inch per hour.

The storms came rushing through in the middle of the afternoon and continued through the rush hour periods. The storms produced high winds in excess of 75 mph and with intense cloud-to-ground lightning. Hail was also reported.

The weather affected airport traffic at both Midway and O’Hare airports. Ground stops were issued for both airports.

The weather is due to unseasonably warm temperatures in the area. However, a strong cold system that is expected to plunge the area into winter-like temps is moving through. Snow has even been predicted for the area on Thanksgiving Day.

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