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Tornado sweeps through suburban Chicago, causing injuries and damage

Tornado-damaged home
A home in Woodridge, Ill., is damaged by a tornado that swept through the area.
(Rich Hein / Chicago Sun-Times)

A radar-confirmed tornado swept through suburban Chicago, damaging homes, toppling trees, knocking out power and causing some injuries, officials said.

At least four injuries were reported in Naperville, Ill., where a dozen homes were damaged and numerous large trees were downed by a probable tornado late Sunday, according to a report to the National Weather Service. The injuries reportedly weren’t life-threatening.

“Our first priority was making sure that the families were OK, but now we are moving on to handling the damage,” Linda LaCloche, communications director for Naperville, about 25 miles west of Chicago, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Officials in the nearby town of Woodridge said a tornado touched down late Sunday, and a damage assessment was underway. There were no reports of significant injuries in the community, but people were urged to avoid the area because of downed power lines and trees.

“We have no power at all. I’m sitting in the dark waiting to hear back about what’s going on and gathering reports,” Woodridge Mayor Gina Cunningham told the newspaper early Monday.

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Photos from Woodridge showed damaged fencing, toppled trees and a bent street sign.

Tornadoes hatched by super-cell storms ripped a path of devastation across Alabama and into Georgia on Thursday and early Friday, leaving at least five people dead.

Residents in the nearby communities of Darien and Burr Ridge, about 20 miles southwest of Chicago, were urged to take cover about 11:15 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service in Chicago said on Twitter.

“This is a dangerous situation!” the agency tweeted.

Video showed several large trees downed and damage to homes and vehicles in the path of the storm. Some gas leaks were reported in Naperville, and crews went door to door shutting off lines, LaCloche said.

The threat of wind damage remained for a few hours as the line of storms moved over northern Illinois and into northwestern Indiana, forecasters said. The severe threat was declared over at 2 a.m.

Late Sunday and early Monday, severe thunderstorms also brought gusting winds and drenching rains to parts of Michigan.


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