Weather in Chicago today: High winds warning issued for much of the region, downed trees and power lines reported

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CHICAGO (WLS) — A high wind warning was issued for much of the Chicago area on Thursday after a major storm system brought two rounds of heavy rain and gusty winds to the Chicago area on Wednesday.

The warning was issued just before 10:45 a.m. for Boone, Central Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Eastern Will, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, McHenry, Northern Cook, Northern Will, Ogle, southern Cook, southern Will and Winnebago counties in Illinois and Benton, Jasper, Lake, Newton and Porter counties in Indiana until 7 p.m. CDT. Kenosha and Racine counties in Wisconsin were added to the advisory on Thursday afternoon.

Winds of over 50 mph are possible.

The National Weather Service said damaging winds will bring down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible and travel can be dangerous, especially on north-south routes.

In Buena Park, the wind knocked down a large tree in a private yard near Hutchinson and Clarendon, which landed on a Mustang parked on the street.

The owner didn’t discover his car had been damaged until a friend sent him a photo of it, which was posted on a Facebook group.

“I usually park in this area since I live here. I’ve never had any issues, no car break-ins, nothing,” said Evan Dodson, owner. “And of course it would be my car among all the other cars on the street that would be run over. Not that I want that to happen to anyone.”

Further north in Evanston, another tree gave way under the force of the winds and fell on a garage. All around the city there were small victims; a toppled lamppost leaving a tangle of cables, a partially collapsed awning on a roof.

Chicago firefighters also reported high winds causing damage to power lines and some buildings. The wind blew off the roof of a building in the 9100 block of South Western Avenue, which landed in the nearby parking lot.

People should avoid being outdoors in wooded areas and around trees and branches.

If possible, stay on the lower levels of your home during the storm and avoid windows. Be careful if you must drive.

The first round of thunderstorms began rumbling through the region around 8 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures hit the 70s before a cold front triggered another round of thunderstorms in the afternoon.

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Morning rain and cloud cover limited the instability of the atmosphere, helping to reduce the severe weather threat Wednesday afternoon, ABC7 meteorologist Larry Mowry said.

Up to an inch of rain was expected as the integrated rain and thunderstorm system moved in, Mowry said.
The rainfall was welcome along the Wisconsin border, where parts of Lake and McHenry counties are experiencing moderate drought conditions.

Following the passage of the cold front, temperatures plummeted into the 30s overnight.

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