Powerful storms packing multiple tornadoes swept through parts of
the Midwest Wednesday night, damaging homes and a gas station in
central Illinois and sending tens of thousands of soccer fans
seeking shelter during the Copa America semifinal in Chicago.
emergency manager for Livingston County in central Illinois, said
a tornado destroyed the canopy of a gas station and damaged at
least four homes in or just outside Pontiac. There were only minor
injuries reported, although a couple had been temporarily trapped
inside one of the homes, Schoop said.
Weather Service reported another tornado touched down, near the
northern Illinois cities of Amboy in Lee County and Earlville in
LaSalle County. There are small towns scattered throughout the
area surrounded by farm fields.
Wind gusts were
projected to be 70 mph or greater in some places, and
baseball-size hail was possible, according to the weather
service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
The strong band
of thunderstorms moving forced a two-hour delay in Chile's 2-0
victory over Colombia in the Copa America semifinal at Soldier
Field, the home of the Chicago Bears football team. Fans were told
to go beneath the stands for shelter.
Fans also were
told to take shelter at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins,
before their game against the Philadelphia Phillies resumed after
a 70-minute delay.
Department of Aviation said 325 flights in and out of O'Hare
International Airport were canceled and 90-minute delays were
reported. Airlines at Midway International Airport canceled about
70 flights, with 60-minute delays.
Edison spokesman Anita Martinez said about 15,000 customers
remained without power in northern Illinois Wednesday night.
Indiana Public Service Co. said it had increased staffing at its
customer call center and scheduled extra work crews.
Some parts of the
country, including New Jersey, were already dealing with the
aftermath of earlier storms.
Utility crews in
the southern part of the state were restoring power to homes and
businesses. Atlantic City Electric said nearly 6,000 homes and
businesses remained without power Wednesday, down from more than
34,000 customers on Tuesday.