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Chicago EF-1 tornado carves 3-mile path through Rogers Park; 7 more tornadoes confirmed in IL, WI

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Residents in Rogers Park are cleaning up for a second day after a tornado carved a 3-mile path through Chicago's North Side.


A total of eight tornadoes touched down across the greater Chicago area Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service confirmed. That includes seven tornadoes in northern Illinois and one in southern Wisconsin.


The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado with estimated peak winds of 110 mph touched down in Rogers Park Monday afternoon before moving over Lake Michigan and becoming a waterspout.


We have confirmed that an EF-1 tornado with estimated peak winds of 110 mph and path length of 3 miles touched down in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago during the 8/10/2020 derecho event. #ilwx #inwx pic.twitter.com/oZ4Z2EEYe0 — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 11, 2020


The weather service said the tornado initially touched down south of the intersection of Crawford and Touhy Avenues in suburban Lincolnwood, before moving northeast over the West Ridge and Rogers Park neighborhoods. The tornado moved offshore over Lake Michigan and became a waterspout near the Jarvis and Fargo beaches.


The weather service classified the storm as a "high-end" EF-1 tornado after surveying the damage. Estimated peak winds reached 110 mph. The tornado was as wide as three football fields and left a path of damage three miles long.


The most intense damage occurred approximately one mile from the lakefront, as well as near and within Phillip Rogers Park, NWS said.


While rare, tornadoes can and do hit urban areas. The last EF-1 tornado in Chicago was on May 29, 1983, on the city's Southwest Side, according to ABC7 Chicago Meteorologist Cheryl Scott. The storm started near South Pulaski and West 31st Street and traveled NE for 0.2 miles.


NWS confirms 7 additional tornadoes across Chicago area



Seven other tornadoes were also confirmed in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin by the National Weather Service.


The first was a brief EF-0 tornado on the southwest side of Rockford just after 2:30 p.m., according to NWS. It traveled 1.5 miles with peak winds of 75 mph and the damage was confined to trees.


We have confirmed that a brief EF-0 with peak winds of 75 mph and path length of 1.5 miles hit the southwest side of Rockford yesterday, 8/10/2020. Damage was confined to trees. #ilwx pic.twitter.com/OS1jznZVTc — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 11, 2020


That same supercell produced another EF-1 tornado around 2:47 p.m. that traveled for 9.2 miles from 3 miles northeast of Rockford to 1 mile southwest of Caledonia. The NWS said that the area immediately east of Rock Valley College and west of North Perryville Road sustained significant tree damage.


We confirmed a second tornado, an EF-1 with peak winds of 100 mph and path length of 9.2 miles, impacted Rockford and ended near Caledonia. This tornado was produced by the same storm that produced the earlier EF-0 tornado in southwest Rockford. #ilwx pic.twitter.com/rRkwCz61vp — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 11, 2020



Another EF-1 tornado touched down in southeast Marengo around 3:05 p.m., immediately southwest of I-90 near the McHenry/DeKalb county line, NWS said. The tornado was on the ground for six minutes and traveled 5.7 miles. Tree damage immediately northeast of I-90 was consistent with 95 mph winds. This tornado also heavily damaged a single-family home near Maple Street before heading northeast and lifting near Coral and Dunham Roads.


We confirmed an EF-1 tornado with peak winds of 95 mph and path length of 5.7 miles touched down south of Marengo during the 8/10/2020 derecho event. #ilwx pic.twitter.com/fihzgZ61kd — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 11, 2020



Another EF-1 tornado with peak winds of 90 mph touched down for just over a minute in west suburban Wheaton around 3:35 p.m., NWS said. The tornado's path was just over a quarter-mile and produced damage on the campus of Wheaton College. The storm also knocked over a roughly 50-feet-tall steeple over at College Church.


We confirmed a very brief EF-1 tornado with peak winds of 90 mph and path length of 0.3 miles touched down in Wheaton and produced damage on the campus of Wheaton College during the 8/10/2020 derecho event. #ilwx pic.twitter.com/g7mA2k95Wb — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 11, 2020



That same storm spawned an EF-1 tornado a few minutes later at 3:39 p.m. that traveled a 2.1-mile path from from 1 mile northeast of Lombard to 1 mile northwest of Villa Park, NWS said. The tornado uprooted trees - snapping some at the trunk - and damaged several homes, including some with substantial roof damage.


The worst damage occured near and around the Lombard Common just south of St. Charles Road, the weather service said. The tornado lifted just northeast of Jefferson Middle School.


We confirmed an EF-1 tornado with peak winds of 95 mph and path length of 2.1 miles touched down on the north side of Lombard during the 8/10/2020 derecho event. The same circulation had produced the brief EF-1 tornado in Wheaton, earlier. #ilwx pic.twitter.com/6nGCzNDNNb — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 11, 2020



Another EF-1 with winds up to 90 mph touched down around 3:41 p.m. near Spring Grove, Illinois and traveled 3.75 miles over state lines to Kenosha County in Wisconsin, NWS said.


We have confirmed that an EF-1 tornado with estimated peak winds of 90 mph and path length of 3.75 miles touched down near Spring Grove, IL and ended near Camp Lake, Wisconsin during the 8/10/2020 derecho event. Many thanks to @NWSMKX for their help surveying. #ilwx #inwx pic.twitter.com/YtTn1pIcyn — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 11, 2020



The National Weather Service office in Milwaukee confirmed an EF-0 tornado with 80 mph winds touched down at 3:38 p.m., traveling a path of 3.3 miles from Lake Geneva to Walworth over four minutes.


Two confirmed tornadoes from 8/10/20. First was an EF-0 on the SE side of Lake Geneva w/peak winds estimated at 80 mph. Second was an EF-1 that came from northern IL on up into Camp Lake in Kenosha County w/peak winds of 90mph. No injuries or fatalities reported. #wiwx pic.twitter.com/zen76LVnrl — NWS Milwaukee (@NWSMKX) August 11, 2020



The EF-1 tornado in Chicago was the final twister spawned by the rare weather event known as a derecho, which is a strong thunderstorm complex of straight-line winds that is on or hitting parts of an area over hundreds of miles.


We have confirmed that an EF-1 tornado with estimated peak winds of 110 mph and path length of 3 miles touched down in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago during the 8/10/2020 derecho event. #ilwx #inwx pic.twitter.com/oZ4Z2EEYe0 — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 11, 2020



To meet the criteria of a derecho, the weather event must travel upwards of about 250 miles, however, the storm that descended on the Midwest Monday traveled more than 600 miles, Scott said.


We have confirmed that an EF-1 tornado with estimated peak winds of 90 mph and path length of 3.75 miles touched down near Spring Grove, IL and ended near Camp Lake, Wisconsin during the 8/10/2020 derecho event. Many thanks to @NWSMKX for their help surveying. #ilwx #inwx pic.twitter.com/YtTn1pIcyn — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) August 11, 2020


"It all happened in like 30 seconds. Honestly. The wind came through. All these trees were gone in 30 seconds," said Scott Garton, Rogers Park resident.


As residents emerged to begin cleaning up, Jarvis Avenue was nearly impossible to navigate. The street is a tangled mess of gigantic trees, with many uprooted and splintered.Wendy Istvanick hunkered down on her ground floor as the tornado passed overhead Monday.


"I grew up in Wisconsin, heard tornadoes come through - like a roof blown off here and there - but never saw anything quite like this," she said.


"You never think you're going to get a tornado in Chicago," said fellow resident Brent Caburnay.


Caburnay said it didn't take long for the storm to move through, but it left a lot of damage on Fargo Avenue.


"You could hear this uproar of wind and it came from, just, below and started moving everything up," he said.


Garton's 100-year-old maple tree was toppled by the storm. He said it felt like a twister, that cabinets blew open from the pressure.


Residents in the epicenter on Jarvis said they are still finding it hard to believe they experienced a tornado.


Victoria Lockhart said when the weather took a quick turn for the worse right at 4 p.m., she grabbed her family and sheltered in the bathroom.


"We tried to make it to the basement, but by the time we got close to the backroom door, the wind started coming in so we couldn't even make it there," she said.


Volunteers with My Block, My Hood, My City hit the streets to help clean up along Jarvis, bringing others from all over Chicago to help with them. Several city blocks were covered in debris.


"We're really just trying to clear out the sidewalks, things that we the city can't necessarily get to right away," volunteer Molly Frank said. "[ There is] a lot of elderly people in the neighborhood, so doing what we can."


"I love their mission and I haven't done any volunteer work for them, but having seen it and having time, I thought it would be a good idea to come out and try to help," said Kathy Maloney.


While the storm tore apart the neighborhood, it unified the neighbors.


"I know that there's a lot of areas affected right now and we can make kind of a small difference," said fellow volunteer Kali Ulmer.


"When you're with people and you're helping people, you just do better. It means a lot to both of us. We just wanted to help," said Beth Farrell.


One couple says they are grateful for all the help after a tree crashed down on their roof.


"I ran around, I was closing windows, and I'm not even sure if I remember the crash of the tree falling on us. It just happened so quickly," said Tim Devore.


As far as he knows, there isn't major damage from the fall, but moving the mature tree will not be an easy feat.


"We have this tree precariously resting on our house so we're unsure what's underneath it right now. None of the windows are broken, the rain gutters are probably damaged," he said.


"We had no water coming inside the house so that tells us there may be roof damage but it's not punctured to where we're getting rain in the house, so that's good," said Devore's partner Doug Kuper.


During the tornado, Devore was inside the home while Kuper was a couple of miles away on their boat. As soon a Kuper heard what happened, he said he headed straight home.


"Everybody was safe, that was the main thing," he said with relief.


Several old trees also came down in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. One of them uprooted the sidewalk and fell on top of a few parked cars.


"It's a car," said Efram Simon, whose Jeep cushioned the landing for a large tree near Byron and Wayne. "You can get insurance to take care of any of the damages. Most important thing is that no one's hurt, no one's injured."


According to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, the 311 call center took nearly 8,600 service requests Monday for everything from uprooted trees to out traffic signals.


There was also more than 550 calls to 911 about downed wires.


ComEd is also rushing to respond to the more than 200,000 people in our area who are still without power.


The electric company says the vast majority should have their electricity back by Friday, but some spots may not have power until Saturday.

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