High winds, severe storms rip through Chicago area Monday

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CHICAGO – Chicago suffered widespread damage Monday after high winds and severe weather ripped through the area.

In Old Irving Park on the city’s Northwest Side, roofs were toppled from buildings and several trees snapped in half.

One man said he narrowly escaped serious injury.

I was getting out of my car real fast and I was trying to beat it inside my apartment,” said Albert Ramirez. “But it caught up with me. And part of this branch hit me and it got me on the head.”

Ramirez said the larger branch just missed him.

“I’m a little dazed, but I’m going to be ok,” Ramirez said.

Others rushed outside after the strong winds tore through streets near Cullom and Keystone.

“I was actually standing at my front window watching the trees bend over 45 degrees, our tree came down,” said Chuck Kaiser. “It’s a giant mulberry, it didn’t hurt anybody, but saw a pedestrian standing 50 feet away.”

Power lines were torn from poles and trees were smashed through car windows.

It didn’t seem that bad until you came out,” said Dan Houle. “This street’s not so bad, but then you come around the corner and this is crazy, this is mayhem, this is nuts.”

Over in Rogers Park, a rotation was spotted. In the park, several trees were toppled over as residents assessed the damage.

The NWS will perform a survey to determine if the following rotation was a tornado or straight line winds.

The suburbs were not spared either. The College Church in Wheaton had its steeple toppled over as it now teeters on the roof.

It has been at Wheaton College for the last 41 years and has a lot of history. It was supposed to be put up on the church during the Great Depression, but was postponed until 1979.

At One Wheaton Center, high winds blew off the roof of the elevator shaft and ended up landing on Adelle’s restaurant.

“I didn’t know this happened, worried about the tent,” owner Todd Williams said.

Nearly 50,000 people are without power in DuPage County.

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