Ferocious storms packing winds of over 80 miles per hour downed trees in many communities and even tore a roof off a suburban apartment building as they tore through Monday evening.
The winds blew through many trees, made travel nearly impossible for some time for tens of thousands of people and led to power outages affecting more than 70,000 ComEd customers.
The storm was particularly frightening for tenants of a three-story building on 24th Avenue and Washington Boulevard.
Several residents say they first heard hail and high winds, then seconds later noticed that part of the roof had come off. Tenants rushed out of the building when firefighters arrived to provide assistance.
At least 18 families have been displaced, according to Bellwood Mayor Andrew Harvey. A resident was hit by debris but was expected to be fine.
Further damage occurred on the street, where some found their cars had been hit by the storm.
“I’m glad no one is sitting there,” said Naeesha Ellis, a resident whose car was damaged.
As the storms progressed, operations were halted at O’Hare International Airport. Thousands of travelers across the sprawling airport have been told to take shelter as a precaution. Hundreds of people crammed under the famous neon-lit skywalk that connects the gates of Terminal 1. When the skies cleared, restrictions were gradually lifted by the Federal Aviation Administration.