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Derecho causes widespread damage, leaves thousands without power in Lake, McHenry counties

No one was injured after a tree fell onto an SUV in unincorporated Lake Villa Monday evening. | Provided photo.

A derecho left widespread storm damage across the Lake County and McHenry County area Monday afternoon, causing trees, debris and power lines to fall on cars, houses and roads.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a tornado warning around 3:50 p.m. Monday for Lake and McHenry counties as the derecho swept across the Midwest.

The only confirmed tornado in the Chicago area was in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, according to the NWS.

“A well-organized and long-lived complex of storms produced widespread severe wind damage across Iowa, northern Illinois, and northern Indiana during the day,” the NWS said in a statement.

“Much of this severe wind was significant (75+ mph winds) resulting in many downed trees, several topped over semi-trucks, and many communities had at least some minor structural damage,” the statement added.

A derecho produces a swath of particularly damaging thunderstorm winds over an area at least 400 miles long and 60 miles wide.

Wind speeds in a derecho can exceed 100 mph which is equivalent to that of an EF-1 tornado but over a vastly larger area than a tornado would impact.

Woodstock police respond to a downed tree in the roadway Monday evening. | Photo: Alex Vucha / WFRD.

Tornadoes can also be embedded within derechos and produce concentrated areas of even more intense damage, the NWS said.

Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said that deputies responded to about 100 weather-related calls for service during the storm.

The majority were for trees blocking roadways, live power lines down and trees which fell causing property damage.

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In one incident a tree caused structural damage to a home and another that destroyed a vehicle.

A tree fell into a home in unincorporated Lake Villa, causing the homeowner to sustain a minor injury, Covelli said.

“The majority of the calls took place in the northern and western portions of the county,” Covelli said, adding that approximately 30 calls were for live power lines down and another 30 calls for trees blocking the roadway.

A Woodstock fire truck responds to a call Monday evening. | Photo: Alex Vucha / WFRD.

McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rogers said Monday evening that deputies were responding to calls of trees and power lines down in the road throughout McHenry County.

According to ComEd, 5,959 customers in McHenry County and 9,263 customers in Lake County remained without power as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“ComEd has more than 800 employees working around the clock to restore energy to affected customers as quickly and safely as possible. Additionally, more than 1,100 mutual assistance workers are coming in from out of state to assist in restoration efforts,” ComEd said in a statement.

“This storm caused significant damage across the service territory, including downed poles, broken lines and tree-related damage. ComEd expects that it will take multiple days to restore service to all of the customers affected by the storm,” the statement added.


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