“Chicago on Alert as Tornado Strikes Near O’Hare Airport”
US Weather

“Chicago on Alert as Tornado Strikes Near O’Hare Airport”


Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and its surrounding areas were struck by a tornado on Wednesday, following severe weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service. The tornado was confirmed on the ground by the National Weather Service in Chicago around 7 p.m., exhibiting intermittent touch-downs and an eastward movement. Fortunately, no immediate reports of injuries were received, but the National Weather Service urged individuals within the warned area to seek shelter.

Despite no tornado warnings in effect for the Chicago forecast area until 8 p.m., television stations captured footage of numerous people taking cover in an O’Hare Airport concourse. The impact on air travel was substantial, with FlightAware reporting the cancellation of 166 flights and nearly 500 flights experiencing delays. Later in the evening, the National Weather Service issued two tornado warnings for specific parts of the city, leading to the activation of tornado sirens and widespread calls for residents to seek safety.

Social media user Lynn Becker, a long-time Chicago resident, shared a video on Twitter that showcased the city’s skyline amidst the blaring sirens. Given the limitations of being in a 60-story apartment building, Becker emphasized the necessity of finding refuge in the building’s core. Local news sources reported damage to warehouses near O’Hare Airport, and an emergency manager cited by the National Weather Service mentioned a roof being blown off in the community of Huntley in McHenry County. Additionally, a trained weather spotter reported uprooted trees and roofs torn off in Cook County, where Chicago is situated.

Earlier in the day, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center had issued an alert highlighting an increased risk of severe weather, including tornadoes, in northern Illinois, encompassing the city of Chicago. The Chicago metropolitan area has experienced numerous tornado incidents, with the National Weather Service documenting 92 significant tornadoes between 1855 and 2008. The most devastating tornado, which occurred on April 21, 1967, wreaked havoc in Palos Hills, Cook County, carving a path of destruction spanning 16 miles (26 kilometers) through Oak Lawn and the south side of Chicago. The toll was tragic, resulting in the loss of 33 lives, injuring 500 individuals, and causing over $50 million in damages.

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