Deadly TORNADOES Hit Iowa, Blowing Dust, and Power Outages Rock Chicago Area


A significant system of severe weather that delivered devastating tornadoes to Iowa caused dust storms and power disruptions in the Chicago area after a day of near-record high temperatures.

Officials in Iowa reported many fatalities and “at least a dozen injuries” from a tornado that ripped through the small hamlet of Greenfield, about 55 miles north of Des Moines. The tornado cut a grim panorama of demolished homes and businesses, shredded trees, shattered cars, and scattered debris.

Following the hurricane, areas of Greenfield appeared to be decimated. Mounds of splintered wood, trees, car pieces, and other rubbish littered the areas where houses formerly stood. Cars lay broken and bent, while ruined dwellings sat skewed against the gloomy and dismal sky. Trees stood — barely — devoid of branches and leaves. Residents helped each other retrieve furniture and other items from heaps of debris or homes that were barely standing.

Multiple tornadoes were reported around the state, with one allegedly destroying multiple 250-foot (76-meter) wind turbines. KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa, reported that at least three wind turbines had been overturned by an apparent tornado in southwest Iowa, with at least one in flames and black smoke billowing from the bent structure.

Wind farms are designed to withstand tornadoes, hurricanes, and other strong winds. Turbines are designed to cut off when winds surpass particular limits, which are normally around 55 mph (88.5 kph). They also lock and feather their blades, and turn into the wind, to reduce strain.

Though the Chicago area missed the brunt of the violent thunderstorms and tornadoes, strong winds were most likely the primary cause of extensive power outages in northern Illinois, leaving more than 12,000 Come customers without service. While over 4,000 outages were reported outside of the Chicago region in Stephenson County, hundreds were left in the dark in Lake and DuPage counties, and hundreds more were reported in Cook County.

The chance of “widely scattered storms” will persist until Tuesday evening, with gusty gusts and hail posing the predominant concern for the majority of the region.

Dust storms also hit several western suburbs early Tuesday, with freshly tilled farmland and windy weather making some Chicago-area roads particularly hazardous. The storms produced more widespread disruptions in downstate Illinois, with I-55 in McLean County being closed, as well as I-74.

On Wednesday, the Chicago region will be relieved of both the heat and the severe weather, with high temperatures dropping back into the mid-70s, sunny skies, and a low chance of rain.

Temperatures will rise somewhat as the weekends, with highs in the low 80s expected on Thursday and Friday, along with sunny skies.

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