On Nov. 17, Central Illinois was hit with a series of tornadoes and storms that caused severe property damage and left dozens injured and at least six dead. While a tornado watch remained in effect until 4 p.m. for Cook County, Chicago was nonetheless hit by rain and high winds reaching 60 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The storm caused delays at O’Hare Airport and Metra, and power outages for some 75,000 ComEd customers in the Chicagoland area and nearby suburbs. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of fans were forced to evacuate Soldier Field during the postponement of a Bears-Raven football game.
Gov. Quinn declared a total of thirteen counties as state disaster areas and said on Nov. 25 that, “while the recovery will be long and hard we will work in the coming days, weeks and months to assist these communities.” Quinn claims the tornadoes were the deadliest to take place in the month of November in Illinois history.
Although officials received no reports of weather-related injuries, according to Chicago spokeswoman for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, many Chicago neighborhoods were left with flooded streets and fallen trees.
Rubia Salgado, a Chicago South side resident, was affected by the storm as her basement remains flooded and said, “I was not expecting the storm to be this bad and now I have to pump water out from my basement.”
Currently volunteers are being called to the disaster areas. For more information on how to prepare for a natural disaster, visit www.illinois.gov/ready.