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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Tornado Confirmed In Rogers Park After Neighborhood Pummeled

Monday afternoon's storms included a tornado in Rogers Park that turned into a water spout over Lake Michigan. It was the first tornado in Chicago in two years.

The National Weather Service is investigating reports of a tornado sighting in Rogers Park Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.
Courtesy Youtube
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ROGERS PARK — Monday’s powerful storm included a tornado that pummeled Rogers Park, with dozens of trees felled, debris flying through the air and a fire started in the neighborhood.

Video of the tornado, which became a water spout over the lake, was circulated by the National Weather Service’s Chicago division Monday night. The video shows debris flying through the darkened sky, with rain and wind appearing to briefly funnel.

The weather service confirmed Tuesday morning that a tornado was seen in Rogers Park. The tornado moved out into Lake Michigan, becoming a waterspout in the process. 

Video from Rogers Park neighbors captured the tornado’s move onto the lake. Video caught by news helicopters showed roof damage on a mid-rise Rogers Park building.

It was the first tornado touching down in the city since 2018, according to the National Weather Service.

Monday’s strong winds felled dozens of trees in the neighborhood. The area near Jarvis Square was hit particularly hard, with multiple large trees and at least one light pole downed along Jarvis between Ashland and Paulina avenues.

Charmers Cafe, a business in Jarvis Square, saw its outdoor seating damaged by falling trees and strong winds, the business wrote on Facebook.

On Jarvis east of Sheridan, a downed power line caught fire, according to video of the incident. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, which was sparked near broken branches and other debris caused by the storm.

Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) said in a Facebook update Monday night that her office is being “overwhelmed” with phone calls, as neighbors report of problems with getting through to 911, 311 and utilities like ComEd.

Rogers Park has about 3,700 residents without power after 900 homes saw their power restored, Hadden said.

“It’s all hands on deck for the city as we try to manage the aftermath of the storm,” Hadden said.

Credit: Screengrab Courtesy Diane Galleher
Downed power lines catch fire in Rogers Park after powerful storms Aug 10, 2020.
Credit: Courtesy Kate Spence
Dozens of trees were felled after Rogers Park was hit by powerful storms Aug. 10, 2020.

Monday’s severe thunderstorm was forecast to bring 70-mile-per-hour winds and harsh rain to Chicago, with a tornado warning announced for part of the North Side.

Damage was recorded in other North Side neighborhoods.

In Edgewater, three neighborhood intersections were inaccessible due to downed trees or power lines, according to Ald. Harry Osterman (48th). In West Ridge, 5,000 home were without power following the storm, Ald. Debra Silverstein said in an email to constituents.

Damage was also seen in Lakeview, where video showed a building’s roof blowing debris onto Lake Shore Drive.

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