A Tornado Warning is in effect for Will County in Illinois and Lake, Jasper, Newton and Porter counties in Indiana until 12:45 a.m.
If you are in the area of a tornado warning, you should go to the basement and take shelter under something sturdy. If you do not have a basement, you should take shelter in the lowest level of your home in an interior hallway or bathroom, preferably with no windows. No matter what level you are on, you should avoid windows during a tornado threat.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for several Chicago area counties, according to the National Weather Service. Cook, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Grundy, McHenry, Will, Lake (IL & IN) and Porter (IN) counties are under the NWS advisory until 2 a.m.
As of 11:35 p.m., the severe weather threat has passed DuPage County, according to Meteorologist Larry Mowry. A large tornado was reported in southern DuPage County, both radar-indicated and by local storm spotters.
The radar-indicated and storm spotter seen wedge tornado was on the ground for about 20 minutes in DuPage County, near the southern edge of Naperville, and traveled about about 10 to 15 miles west through Woodridge and Burr Ridge before weakening as it got to the area near Justice, Ill.. There have been reports of damage in Woodridge, Darien and toward Burr Ridge, as well as three people injured and gas leaks reported in Naperville.
WATCH: Tornado’s path
In a rare instance, the ball of debris created by the unconfirmed tornado was visible on radar near the area of I-55 in Burr Ridge.
WATCH: Tornado debris ball is visible on radar
Mowry said it was the most intense tornado this area has seen in a long time, and that the scope of the damage is likely to be great especially due to its wedge shape. Schwartz noted that while northeast Illinois has seen a number of larger tornadoes in the recent past, they’ve happed in much more rural areas with a lower density of people.
Video from Woodridge showed extensive storm damage, with even large trees snapped off at the base. Branches and trees littered roads and front yards, as did pieces of drywall and shingles from homes. Signs were knocked over, as were power lines. Injuries are expected to be reported.
The amount of damage is making it difficult for emergency crews to reach people who may need help. Some emergency responders are trying to reach anyone who may need help, while others work to clear roads to help them get through.
While the rotation in the line of severe storms continued to weaken as they continued to travel east, they still brought a deluge of rain and high, damaging winds.
Torrential rain in Chicago caused major flooding in the city, with cars trying to navigate through six inches of water at I-55 and Kedzie in Brighton Park.
Weekend started with storms
Storms overnight Thursday into Friday also brought high winds, heavy rain and lightning to the Chicago area.
The storms began crossing the Wisconsin state line about 4 a.m. Friday, and it appeared to be quite the light show in Lake and McHenry counties. The storms progressed across the area and moved through Chicago by about 8 a.m., Butler said.
On Sheridan Road in Evanston, a tree fell across the road about 4:45 a.m., and heavy rain appeared to make roads slick and create standing water.
The rain is especially needed in the northern suburbs. Lake and McHenry counties are currently in an “extreme” drought – the worst since 2012.
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