ComEd hopes to restore power to all customers by the end of Tuesday after a damaging storm swept through the Chicago area leaving tens of thousands in the dark Sunday night, a spokesman said.
With the second day of storm cleanup nearing an end in the western suburbs, fewer than 1,000 customers remained without power Tuesday afternoon. Most of those outages were reported in DuPage County and included hard-hit Woodridge, according to ComEd spokesman Tom Dominguez.
Dominguez said crews have been deployed to each of the remaining areas without power to assess the situation.
“Our hope is to have them back online sometime this afternoon, but it depends on what we find in different locations. If it’s a matter where we’re able to reattach a power line to a home or to a pole, we’ll do that. But if there’s debris or large trees still in the area, we need to get equipment out there to safely remove that, and then we can begin the process,” Dominguez said.
A tornado was confirmed about 11:10 p.m. Sunday near Route 53 and 75th Street in Woodridge, according to the National Weather Service. The EF3 twister — packing winds of up to 140 mph — also hit portions of Naperville, Downers Grove, Darien and Burr Ridge. The tornado smashed cars, ripped roofs off homes, downed power lines, sheared off garage doors, uprooted large trees and spewed debris thousands of feet into the air.
As a result, hundreds of homes were damaged and at least 43 were deemed uninhabitable, city officials said. Several people were injured, including a Naperville woman, who was hospitalized and has been upgraded from critical to fair condition.
A weaker tornado was recorded in suburban Plainfield. Rafal Ogorek, a meteorologist for the NWS, said that tornado, which was categorized an EF0, the lowest rating for a twister, touched down at 11:08 p.m. Sunday and lasted only 4 minutes, traveling 3.2 miles before lifting in the west side of Romeoville. Ogorek said the storm caused some damage to trees in the area but was “pretty weak overall.”
The NWS is also investigating the possibility of another tornado in Northwest Indiana, with surveyors on Tuesday looking into reported damage in Hobart, South Haven and Chesterton.
Surveyors for the NWS hit the streets Tuesday to further investigate the exact path of the tornado that damaged hundreds of homes and left dozens displaced in the western suburbs. Ogorek said it’s possible there was a break in the tornado’s path, and the weather service is trying to determine whether there was second touchdown and where it ended.
This was the first tornado rated an EF3 or higher to hit DuPage County since June 13, 1976, when a powerful EF4 twister started in Lemont and tracked through Burr Ridge. Two fatalities and 23 injuries were reported in the aftermath of that storm, Ogorek said.