Severe thunderstorms moved through parts of the Chicago area Wednesday afternoon, in some cases packing 60 mph winds and torrential rain.
Storms also included quarter-size hail in some areas. After storms blew through Chicago and nearby suburbs and McHenry and Lake counties mid-afternoon, another storm hit the southwest suburbs, triggering a thunderstorm warning for parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties that ended at 5:45 p.m. Before reaching the immediate Chicago area, the storm destroyed two barns in LaSalle County, according to the weather service.
A thunderstorm watch remained in effect for all of northern Illinois and parts of Wisconsin and Indiana until 8 p.m.
By just after 6 p.m., O’Hare International Airport was reporting average delays of about an hour for flights, with almost 350 cancellations.
The Chicago Fire Department was called to help people who were stuck on a scaffold on a high-rise at Van Buren and Green streets Wednesday afternoon during the storm, accordig to the department. The workers were able to make it down safely.
Mid-afternoon storms dumped almost 2 inches of rain near Beach Park in Lake County, according to the weather service.
Storms that hit the Woodstock area before 1:45 p.m. downed trees near Woodstock and Wonder Lake, blocking some roads, according to the weather service. Hail of 1.25 inch diameter was reported in Belvidere, which also had standing water of about a foot in some areas.
Chicago residents should expect scattered thunderstorms throughout the day, and there is a possibility of winds reaching 60 mph and about 1-inch hail, the weather said.
People are advised to stay indoors if they hear thunder and to watch the weather channel or listen for weather updates on the radio.
For updates, check the Tribune’s weather page.