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State

More storms on the way after blustery night

(MCT) — Thunderstorms driven by winds of more than 50 mph drenched the Chicago area overnight, knocking down trees and dropping hail up to an inch in diameter.

And more storms are headed our way.

The National Weather Service says there's a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms late this morning into the afternoon, with wind gusts up to 30 mph.  Storms are also in the forecast for tonight and Wednesday, and showers and chilly temperatures are expected Thursday before it turns mostly sunny Friday.

The weather service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning Monday night, saying approaching storms -- remnants of the system that spawned Monday's deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma -- could bring powerful winds and heavy rain.

The storms dropped up to an inch and a half of rain across the Chicago area but caused only minimal flooding and wind damage, said Jim Allsopp, a meteorologist with the weather service in Romeoville.

"They were certainly a lot weaker by the time they got up here," Allsopp said.

The storms were still powerful enough to knock down trees in some areas and drop hail stones an inch in diameter in parts of Kankakee and LaSalle counties, Allsopp said.

The Chicago Weather Center said winds were clocked at more than 50 mph throughout the city of Chicago.

They affected more than 25,000 households, many of which were briefly left without electricity due to downed trees, said Arlana Johnson, a ComEd spokeswoman. By about 4 a.m., 2,700 homes in Chicago and 4,600 in the suburbs remained without power, she said.

The rain left roads slick, and police responded to spinouts, rollovers and cars crashing into walls, according to the Illinois State Police. Injuries were relatively minor, police said.

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©2013 the Chicago Tribune

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