All of northern Illinois was under a severe thunderstorm watch Wednesday evening, as the Chicago area makes the full transition from below-freezing temperatures on Sunday to late-spring weather.

A few severe thunderstorms blew through parts of Cook, DuPage and Will counties late in the afternoon, with 1-inch hail falling at Midway Airport, in Summit and in Bourbonnais, according to the National Weather Service. Wind gusts of 67 mph hit Midway as the thunderstorm rolled through.

Scattered storms were expected to keep developing through the evening, mostly heading from the southwest to the northeast, according to the National Weather Service. The severe thunderstorm watch was in effect until 11 p.m.

In the Bronzeville neighborhood, a four-story apartment building just north of Washington Park, at 51st Street and King Drive, was damaged by high winds, according to a Chicago Fire Department tweet. No one was injured in the incident, but authorities were in the process of evacuating the 90-unit building after it sustained significant damage to its roof, according to Chicago fire and police officials.

About 200 people were displaced, police said.

Chicago Fire Department and Street and Sanitation crews dealt with a number of weather-related emergencies, including trees that fell on buildings including at a home in near 49th Street and Indiana Avenue, said Marjani Williams, a spokeswoman for Streets and San. Anyone who sees a downed tree or has one fall on their home or business should call 311 for help, she said.

Trees were downed throughout the area, as were some power lines. As of about 9:30 p.m., about 7,000 ComEd Customers in Cook County were without power, according to the agency’s power outage map.

Storms Wednesday night and Thursday were expected to drop up to 1.5 to 2 inches north and west of Chicago, with totals of about 1 to 1.5 inches in the city and south, according to the weather service.

Showers are likely overnight and into the morning, with the chance of showers decreasing Thursday afternoon as highs move into the low to mid-70s. Showers are likely again Thursday night, with a slight chance of thunderstorms Friday as temperatures again hit the low 70s.

Check the Tribune’s weather page for updated forecast information.

Check back for updates.


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