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Powerful Storms Leave Thousands Without Power Across The Chicago Area

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Thousands of homes and businesses across the Chicago area are without power Wednesday morning, after torrential storms blew through overnight.

Winds of up to 50 mph and frequent lightning strikes took down trees and power lines all over the Chicago area.

ComEd says approximately 29,000 customers in northern Illinois are without power as of 7 a.m. In northwest Indiana, NIPSCO says about 1,100 customers are without power.

Overnight, the storms lit up Chicago's iconic Water Tower on Michigan Avenue. People sprinted for cover as the rain came down in buckets. Some carrying umbrellas or dressed in ponchos still ended up drenched.

The heavy rain has caused ponding on many area roads, but there have been no reports of significant flooding.

While skies were starting to clear in the far northern and northwestern suburbs, steady rain was still falling during the morning rush from the city and northwest Indiana down through the western and southwestern suburbs.

That includes in far western DeKalb County, where a large tree fell across McNeal and Irene roads. A driver who didn't see the tree smashed into the tree in Franklin Township.

Nearby, another huge tree narrowly missed a house, depositing a few branches in the gutters.

Limbs took down power and telephone lines in multiple spots in the nearby village of Kirkland.

Scattered showers are expected to continue through about noon, and then skies should clear in the afternoon.

Storms and showers likely will return Friday night, and continue on and off through most of the Labor Day weekend.

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