EVANSTON, Ill – Cleanup is underway throughout the Chicago region after storms tore through the area Tuesday night, uprooting trees and knocking out power to several homes and businesses.
More than 60,000 Chicago-area homes and businesses remained without power Wednesday evening following severe overnight thunderstorms that came one day after at least seven tornadoes touched down in parts of northern Illinois.
Evanston was hit hard by the storms, with more than 6,000 ComEd customers reportedly out of power at the storm’s peak.
Marylin Marrinson, an Evanston resident, said she woke up Wednesday morning and couldn’t believe the damage.
“I got up. I put my head out the bathroom window and I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
Liz Luby, also of Evanston, described the damage as she witnessed century-old trees overturned and vehicles destroyed following Tuesday’s storms.
Jake Turner told WGN he was amazed by the path of destruction the storms left.
“It’s just crazy looking at that car,” he said.
Neighbors in Evanston came together for an extensive cleanup on Sherman near Colfax. Last night’s storm toppled one American Elm, which yanked its roots, ripped the sidewalk and crushed a car underneath. Fortunately, no one was inside of the vehicle at the time of impact.
Louisa Woods said she loved the tree’s shade but is thankful that the tree did not come crashing down in the opposite direction.
“If it had fallen that way, I would have been killed, without a doubt, if it had fallen towards the building,” she said.
Woods said she watched the leaves change season after season and animals come and go.
“This tree was such a part of my life,” she said. “It was a huge tree. It was a huge tree and now it’s gone and I feel empty.”
Across Evanston, resident Eliana Davis also felt the storm’s wrath.
“It just starts pouring and thundering. Luckily, we made it back inside before the worst of it but it was just crazy out there,” she said.
Over on Orrington, Kathy Marinacci didn’t realize how much damage the storm caused until the tree in front of her home came down. Her house of more than forty years was spared.
“It fell the right way,” Marinacci said. “If things have to happen, it was OK to happen the way it did.”