“It was blocking the roadway,’’ Ahlheim said. No one was injured.
As the storm hit, at least one man aboard a 34-foot sailboat who was about a quarter mile off Montrose Harbor could not make it in, according to a police Marine Unit officer.
Several residents in nearby high-rises saw he was struggling and called to alert authorities.
A police Marine Unit boat was sent out to rescue him and towed the boat into the harbor safely, the officer said. No one was hurt.
On the Southwest Side near Midway Airport, Chicago Fire Department authorities reported several wires down and some small fires from lightning strikes, but nothing major.
Area damage from the storm included the roof being blown off a retirement home in Aurora, affecting about 80-100 residents.
Wind apparently tore off the rubber membrane roof at the Constitution House, 401 N. Constitution on Aurora's west side, causing extensive water damage on floors 4-7 and affecting 96 units, said city spokesman Dan Ferrelli.
No injuries were reported, and the Red Cross was assisting the Aurora Victims Services Unit in relocating the residents, he said. Many of those affected will be housed with relatives, while some will be placed temporarily in unused units in the complex. Officials believe ultimately about 20 people might be displaced.
Lightning struck the roof of a multi-unit residence in the 500 block of Hartford on the southwest side of Aurora, causing a small fire and some roof damage but no injuries. About 17 people were displaced. There also were numerous calls of wires down and tree damage, Ferrelli said.
The weather also temporarily halted Metra service on all Union Pacific-operated lines, which includes the UP North, the UP Northwest and the UP West, said Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile.
Reile said UP’s operating policy calls to stop trains when high winds are expected to exceed 50 m.p.h.
"High winds and trains can create blow overs, so it's a safety precaution," Reile said.
As the worst of the fast-moving storm started to move out over Lake Michigan, it left in its wake reports of winds as high as 80 m.p.h. and rains that delivered 1.65 inches of rain within 30 minutes in Yorkville. Midway reported 1.43 inches of rain in 30 minutes.
The National Weather Service also issued a flash flood warning for the portions of the area.
It'll take several hours until the chance of bad weather moves completely out of the area, and Sunday looks like a beautiful day, with some clouds and temperatures in the mid-80s.
Chicago-area temperatures peaked in the low-to-mid 90s before the thunderstorms arrived to cool things off. Combined with higher humidity, the temperatures made being outside uncomfortable, with a heat index approaching 105.