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Storms, multiple tornadoes wallop Chicago's northwest, western suburbs

Storms, possible tornados wallop Chicago's northwest suburbs
Storms, possible tornados wallop Chicago's northwest suburbs 02:08

INVERNESS, Ill. (CBS) – A total of 11 tornadoes touched down across the Chicago area Tuesday night, including in areas near northwest suburban Hoffman Estates and Inverness.

The National Weather Service confirmed 11 tornadoes between EF 0 (gusts between 65 and 85 miles per hour) and EF 1 (gusts between 86 and 110 miles per hour) in Lee, DeKalb, Kane, Lake, and Cook counties in Illinois and Lake County, Indiana.


Neighbors reported seeing funnel clouds and extensive damage, including lost power, which was restored on Wednesday. CBS 2 crews saw a massive cleanup effort across both communities. Several trees were torn down, including some torn up by their decades-old roots.

"With everything that happened yesterday, I was very happy that her family was safe and everything was OK, but it's kind of unfortunate that we lost so many trees," said James Patla of Inverness.

11 confirmed tornados hit Chicago area, National Weather Service says 01:17

Patla and his family lost seven trees and many tree limbs. Crews had to climb up trees to cut down what remained. Huge pieces of wood bounced off the ground as they were cut off from their decades-old trunks.

Neighbors said they hid in their basement during the worst of the storm. They worried about a possible tornado touching down.

They said the rain and hail were so intense that they could hear it from beneath the first floor.

Luckily, that seemed to be the extent of the worst damage in Inverness. The National Weather Service said it began to look for possible tornado activity in the nearby Paul Douglass Forest Preserve.

Days of cleanup after tornados rip through Chicago suburbs 01:50

CBS 2 spoke with some of the crews working on the cleanup. One company said Wednesday was their busiest day in a long time. They advised neighbors with fallen tree limbs in their yards to call their local government should the tree fall off their property. They should not try to cut down tree branches themselves to avoid getting hurt.

"Make sure you don't hurt yourself, you don't get electrocuted, you don't cut yourself with a chainsaw," said Christian Reyes of Cabañas Tree Service. "There's many things that can happen."

While crews were working quickly on Wednesday, the damage was so widespread that neighbors said they expected cleanup to last a few more days.

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