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updated: 6/21/2014 10:35 PM

Severe storms moving out, thousands left without power

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  • High winds and rain moved through Crystal Lake Saturday evening, knocking down branches and causing residents to seek shelter.

       High winds and rain moved through Crystal Lake Saturday evening, knocking down branches and causing residents to seek shelter.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Storms toppled a tree Saturday in the Orchard Hills subdivision in Wauconda.

      Storms toppled a tree Saturday in the Orchard Hills subdivision in Wauconda.
    Courtesy of Steve Cianci

  • Tornado sirens blared Saturday just outside of Wauconda.

      Tornado sirens blared Saturday just outside of Wauconda.
    Courtesy of Patti Glade

 
 

Strong storms dumped torrential rains and unleashed wind gusts of more than 70 mph Saturday, leaving thousands across the suburbs without power.

In Wauconda, power lines and trees toppled across roads and into several homes in the wake of storms capable of producing tornadoes, police said. The north and east sides of town appeared to bear the brunt of the damage, Wauconda Fire District Battalion Chief Bill Hoover said.

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"From what I saw, it looked like we really took the main hit on it," Hoover said.

Residents of mobile homes were evacuated on south Barrington Road and waited out the storm in the Federated Church of Wauconda.

Winds blew over a backyard gazebo on Purcell Road in Volo, rupturing a gas line and triggering a leak, Hoover said. Nicor Gas crews continued to make repairs Saturday night.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of Lake and McHenry counties about 5 p.m. Spotters reported quarter-size hail and heavy rain -- 1.58 inches fell in just 20 minutes in Buffalo Grove, forecasters said.

In Streamwood, drivers tried to cross flooded roads and ended up trapped in their cars, fire officials said.

Early Saturday night, storms left 17,690 ComEd customers without power, spokesman David O'Dowd said. By 9 p.m., more than 12,400 were still in the dark.

Severe weather could return Sunday, with National Weather Service forecasters predicting scattered storms in the afternoon and evening. An early morning fog should blanket parts of the Chicago area, and temperatures are expected to climb into the low 80s.

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