LIST: Chicago area school closings

PHOTOS: Severe storms sweep through northern Illinois

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Within an hour after a tornado watch was issued at 3 p.m. Tuesday, fast-moving severe thunderstorms erupted across central and northern Illinois. At 4:14 p.m., the Chicago National Weather Service Forecast Office issued its first severe thunderstorm warning for LaSalle County, and 13 minutes later they issued a tornado warning for a touchdown just west of Ogelsby. After that it was a succession of tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings into the evening hours.

A series of severe storms raced east along the Interstate 80 corridor. Ottawa reported baseball-sized hail and one death attributed to a tornado moving through that area, while Marseilles reported widespread damage to homes. A pole barn was flattened near Joliet, and in East Chicago, Ind., 95-mph wind gusts were reported.

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