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Published on : Monday, November 18, 2013
Killing at least five people in Illinois and injuring dozens of others, intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest and Chicago area last Sunday. Multiple warnings of severe weather and possible tornadoes were announced around the Chicago land area. Including Cook, DuPage, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kankakee, Kendall, La Salle, Livingston and Will counties, the National Weather Service issued high wind warnings in northeastern Illinois. The officials informed that this is not your run-of-the-mill tornado watch.
It appears that the same tornado struck three times — in Washington, Pekin and East Peoria, said Chief Terry Capps of the Limestone Township Fire District. But Washington sustained the worst damage, with many flattened houses. About 90 minutes after the tornado destroyed homes in Washington, the storm darkened downtown Chicago. As the rain and high winds slammed into the area, officials at Soldier Field evacuated the stands and ordered the Bears and Baltimore Ravens off the field.
No flights were allowed to leave or enter both O’Hare or Midway airports, as reported by the city’s Department of Aviation.
As of mid-afternoon, the heavy rains and high winds had left 75,200 people without power in the Chicago area.
The NWS forecast wind gusts of up to 60 mph that it said had potential to “blow down tree limbs and power lines, and could cause minor structural damage to buildings.”
Hail was predicted for parts of the area, causing Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management & Communications to keep an especially close eye on the afternoon Bears game against the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field. OEMC spokeswoman Melissa Stratton said that they have been in contact with the Bears and would continue to monitor the weather and will work with the Bears and Soldier Field (staff) to ensure the safety of the attendees.