Chicago/ Weather & Environment
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Published on February 28, 2024
Chicago Storms Unleash Destruction: Roofs Ripped, Power Out and No Injuries ReportedSource: Chicago Area Fire Departments

Severe storms swept through the Chicago area, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Residents of multiple suburbs were left grappling with the aftermath as reports indicate that roofs were torn off, trees uprooted, and power lines brought down. According to NBC Chicago, straight-line winds reaching 63 miles per hour wreaked havoc in Sugar Grove, alongside reports of tornado touchdowns in the region.

One of the hard-hit areas was South Barrington, where a significant amount of roofing material was found mangled on the ground. "That's probably a good 20 pounds or so," NBC 5 reporter Patrick Fazio observed, while reflecting on the potential danger if such debris were to strike a person, "Imagine if this was blowing around and hit you." In a stroke of luck, no injuries have been reported thus far. Elsewhere, in Geneva, extensive damage to homes was witnessed, with the Geneva Fire Chief Mike Antenore confirming "Broken windows, downed trees. Some doors blown off" as reported by NBC Chicago.

The National Weather Service is scheduled to conduct surveys to assess the storm's impact, particularly in four metro Chicago areas where multiple tornadoes were reported. Amidst this chaos, hail the size of golf balls and a torrent of lightning further added to the tumultuous night. "A ton of lightning," stated NBC 5 Meteorologist Kevin Jeanes, "Flash, after flash, after flash." Despite the severity of the storms, it was confirmed that fortunately, no injuries were reported at the time.

Utility company ComEd was quick to respond, noting that over 900 individuals were without power early Wednesday morning, the majority in Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Deer Park, and Inverness. The company had preemptively placed additional crews and equipment on standby to address the outages that were, expected due to predicted wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour and large hail according to a press release obtained by NBC Chicago.

On the ground, reports paint a vivid picture of the event’s ferocity. In the community of Geneva, residents are divided on whether a tornado or a microburst caused the damage. "When we got in this neighborhood, overlooks like three of four blocks, narrow path, we have some significant damage to some of the homes," said Geneva Fire Chief Michael Antenore in an interview with ABC7 Chicago. The Red Cross is assisting those displaced, signaling at least 20 apartments were deemed uninhabitable as the extent of the storm's damage becomes increasingly clear.