Fierce storms with wind gusts exceeding 60 miles per hour ripped across Illinois late Friday, leading to a partial building collapse at a theater, a shelter-in-place announcement at O’Hare Airport and damage across numerous communities.
An evening of concerts was disrupted at Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, where fierce storms caused a roof collapse, resulting in one death and more than two dozen injuries. The storm’s impact was felt elsewhere, including in Kane and Kendall counties, where dispatchers said they were busy fielding calls for damage.
Storms brought hail of different sizes to areas across the state – from Olympia Fields to Bloomington. Some were even big enough to bust out the back window of a car.
The severe weather also hit the Peoria area, where it caused a gas station awning to collapse. In Ford County, east of Pontiac, numerous trees were downed when storms tore through. Meanwhile, in Tazewell County, livestock became trapped under a barn when it collapsed.
“The storm came through with some pretty fast straight-line winds, and we were standing over there at my house and watched our neighbor’s barn get blown over… The storm just took it away,” said Brice McGarity, who witnessed the collapse and helped save his neighbor’s cows.
More than 57,000 ComEd customers were left without power across northern Illinois, with at least 25,000 of those affected in the Chicago area and another 16,000 in or near Rockford.