At least 1 dead, 16 injured as severe storms hit Midwest
By Carolyn Williams, WeatherChannel.com
Severe thunderstorms rocked the Chicago area Sunday, killing at least one person when a tent collapsed at a festival. At least 16 people were injured in storm-related incidents.
The lone thunderstorm cell that caused the death was part of a larger storm system that brought widespread severe weather to the Midwest and Great Lakes regions Sunday and Sunday night, leaving more than a quarter of a million customers in the dark in the U.S. and Canada.
Storms Turn Deadly in Chicagoland
One person died and 15 others were transported to local hospitals after strong winds toppled a tent at the Wood Dale Prairie Fest in Wood Dale, Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported. Among those hurt, at least three were seriously injured, the report added.
See photos of the storm damage:
In a statement released Sunday, Wood Dale Mayor Nunzio Pulice said "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased and we are also praying for all those who were injured or affected by this tragedy."
The festival has since been canceled, according to Wood Dale police.
A thunderstorm developed in north-central Illinois Sunday afternoon and tracked eastward toward the Chicago area just before 3 p.m. CDT. A wind gust of 52 mph was measured at Chicago's O'Hare airport and hail up to 1 inch in diameter was reported with this cell.
The famous Lollapalooza festival was briefly evacuated around 3 p.m. as the storm rolled over Chicago. Concertgoers retreated from Grant Park to three pre-established shelters.
The festival's gates reopened at 3:30 p.m., and music resumed at 4 p.m.
A dome at the Ballpark at Rosemont in Rosemont, Illinois, collapsed while a Chicago Bandits softball game was delayed due to severe weather. No injuries were reported, and the game was canceled.
A man was injured when the storm caused a tree to fall on him near the boundary between the city of Chicago and the village of Lincolnwood, Illinois. Multiple trees in the area were downed by strong thunderstorm winds.
Later, a separate supercell thunderstorm prompted a tornado warning just north of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois. A funnel cloud was sighted at Route 83 and Rollins Road in suburban Round Lake Beach at 8:45 p.m. CDT while three miles north of Libertyville, a funnel was reported almost to the ground. Social media images posted from Grayslake, where siding was reportedly blown off a house, also showed a funnel cloud close to the ground.
The approaching storms prompted Lollapalooza to alter its concert schedule, putting some performers on stage two hours earlier than planned, according to its Twitter feed. The festival ended and attendees were on their way out before the storms reached downtown Chicago.Damaging Storms Strike Other Midwest States
Thunderstorms also broke out across other areas of the Midwest throughout the day.
Tennis ball size hail was reported in Perham, Minnesota, and Hayward, Wisconsin on Sunday morning. There were numerous reports of golf ball size hail across the area as well. Hail reached the size of softballs in parts of Ogemaw County in northern Lower Michigan, the National Weather Service in Gaylord said.
In Michigan, a tornado struck the village of Owendale around 6:40 p.m. EDT, according to the National Weather Service office near Detroit. Several buildings, including a school, were damaged.
Wind gusts exceeding 60 mph were reported in several Michigan communities. Tree and power line damage affected many counties across the state's Lower Peninsula.
In Iowa, thunderstorm winds toppled a semi-truck in the parking lot of a large retail store in West Des Moines early Sunday evening. To the west, a tornado was reported in rural Adams County near Cromwell.
A landspout tornado was also spotted near Lake Maloney south of North Platte, Nebraska, on Sunday afternoon.
In Wisconsin, a 32-foot sailboat capsized in Lake Michigan one mile away from Sister Bay due to high winds and waves. Coast Guard responders were able to rescue all passengers aboard the boat and no injuries were reported.
The storms led to widespread power outages, especially in Michigan where nearly 156,000 customers were without power shortly after midnight early Monday. Northern Lower Michigan was particularly hard hit. Storms earlier Sunday left more than a quarter of all customers without electricity in some counties there, according to Consumers Energy, whose customers accounted for about two-thirds of the state total.
A spokesperson for DTE Energy said about 51,000 customers were in the dark in its territory covering southeastern Michigan and the "thumb" of Lower Michigan.
About 51,000 ComEd customers in Illinois were without power late Sunday evening in the Chicago area. Wisconsin had about 24,000 customers in the dark, mostly in the eastern half of the state.
In Canada, Hydro One reported about 30,000 customers in Ontario province still powerless just after midnight, down from more than 54,000 earlier Sunday evening.
Robert Martin and senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen contributed to this report.