“O’Hare Airport Threatened as Tornado Ravages Chicago Region”
Climate and Weather US

“O’Hare Airport Threatened as Tornado Ravages Chicago Region”

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Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and its vicinity were struck by a tornado on Wednesday, following severe weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service. The presence of the tornado was confirmed on the ground by the National Weather Service in Chicago around 7 p.m., with reports of intermittent touch-downs and an eastward movement. Thankfully, no immediate injuries were reported, but the National Weather Service urged individuals within the warned area to take shelter.

Despite no tornado warnings being in effect for the Chicago forecast area before 8 p.m., television stations captured footage of numerous people seeking refuge in an O’Hare Airport concourse. The impact on air travel was significant, with FlightAware recording 166 flight cancellations and nearly 500 flights experiencing delays. Later in the evening, the National Weather Service issued two tornado warnings for specific parts of the city, resulting in the activation of tornado sirens and widespread calls for residents to seek cover.

Lynn Becker, a long-time Chicago resident, documented the scene on Twitter, sharing a video featuring the blaring sirens echoing across the city’s iconic skyline. Aware of the limited options available in a 60-story apartment building, Becker expressed the need to seek shelter in the building’s core. Local news sources reported damage to warehouses near O’Hare Airport, and an emergency manager, cited by the National Weather Service, mentioned a roof being blown off in the community of Huntley in McHenry County. Additionally, a trained weather spotter reported uprooted trees and roofs being torn off in Cook County, where Chicago is situated.

Earlier in the day, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center had issued an alert warning of an elevated risk of severe weather, including tornadoes, in northern Illinois, encompassing the city of Chicago. The Chicago metro area has witnessed numerous tornado incidents, with the National Weather Service documenting 92 significant tornadoes between 1855 and 2008. The most devastating tornado occurred on April 21, 1967, causing havoc in Palos Hills, Cook County. Carving a path spanning 16 miles (26 kilometers) through Oak Lawn and the south side of Chicago, the tornado resulted in the tragic loss of 33 lives, 500 injuries, and over $50 million in damages, as reported by the weather service.

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