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Chicago Weather: Severe Storms Bring Heavy Rain, Strong Winds, Tornado Warnings As They Plow Through Chicago Area

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A fast-moving line of severe thunderstorms went plowing through the Chicago area on Tuesday evening -- bringing heavy rain, thunder and lightning, strong winds, and even tornado warnings.

A tornado watch was for most of the Chicago area until 8 p.m. It remained in effect as of 6:20 p.m. for Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will, Kankakee, Livingston, Ford, and Iroquois counties.

In addition, tornado warnings were issued over the course of the late afternoon for LaSalle County north of Ottawa, parts of Walworth and Racine counties in Wisconsin, and finally eastern Kenosha County in Wisconsin.

The LaSalle County community of Serena reported a wind gust of 76 mph.

The storms were moving to the east as of the 6 p.m. hour, and there were talks of watches and warnings for Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan.

A severe thunderstorm warning expired early Tuesday evening after being called for all of Cook County, as well as Lake, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Will, and Grundy counties, and parts of McHenry and Livingston counties.

A wind advisory is also in effect throughout the area until 10 p.m. CBS 2 Meteorologist Ed Curran reported that winds gusted up to 61 mph at Beach Park and at Midway International Airport, and 68 mph at O'Hare International Airport.

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CBS 2 Meteorologist Mary Kay Kleist reported a powerful cold front moved through western Illinois Tuesday afternoon, leading to those storms.

The height of the storm threat began at 5 p.m.

In Elgin at 5:07 p.m., CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reported there was a lot of water on the road and a ton of lightning in the sky. Drivers had to slow down to be safe on the road.

Saavedra documented sheets of rain coming down.

Meanwhile, DeKalb County Sheriff's police Sgt. Ryan Pettengell told CBS 2's Brad Edwards that officers responded to five or six power lines that came down – mostly in the southern part of the county near Sandwich.

Trees were also down in the county, Pettengell said.

DeKalb County saw about 10 to 15 minutes of very heavy rain and winds, but there were no reports of injuries and Pettengell did not believe any tornadoes had been sighted in the county.

Pettengell said he was not sure of the number of outages.

In East Lakeview, heavy rain began falling at 5:45 p.m. as wind roared. The rain kept falling for the next half hour, but was later reduced to a drizzle.

Tuesday 8 p.m.: 11.10.20
(Credit: CBS 2)

Meanwhile, trees and power lines came down throughout the area. A sparking and buzzing downed power line was spotted by CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov in the 2800 block of North Newland Avenue in the Montclare neighborhood.

On the Far South Side, Interstate 57 was closed due to flooding between Halsted Street and the interchange with the Bishop Ford Freeway.

As of late Tuesday, ComEd was reporting 716 active outages affecting 32,859 customers.

ComEd said in a news release Tuesday afternoon that it was getting out ahead of the storm – increasing crew staffing in case there are power outages.

The utility said its priority is to restore critical facilities such as police and fire stations, nursing homes, and hospitals first, and then to restore the outages that affect the greatest number of customers.

Anyone who experiences an outage should contact ComEd immediately. People may text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report an outage and receive restoration information, or may follow ComEd on Twitter or Facebook, Customers may also call (800) EDISON-1, or report outages at Spanish speaking customers should call (800) 95-LUCES.

Anyone who spots a down power line should also call those numbers, and should not go anywhere near the power line.

The highs hit the mid-70s on Tuesday, but the low for Tuesday night drops to 35.

Next 12 Hours: 11.10.20
(Credit: CBS 2)

For Wednesday, it will be sunny and chilly with a high of just 49. On Thursday, it will be sunny with a high of 55.

Tornadoes do not often touch down within the city of Chicago, but a tornado did touch down in Rogers Park back on Aug. 10.

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