An empty office building at 9919 Roosevelt Road in Westchester sustained significant damage from Monday’s supercell storm. | Courtesy National Weather Service
Saturday, June 18, 2022 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
The National Weather Service announced recently that a survey team sent out to assess the damage of Monday’s powerful supercell storm has determined that an EF-0 tornado happened “with a two mile path from Schaumburg to Roselle.” Schaumburg is about 20 minutes from the Proviso Township area.
The storm ravaged much of Proviso Township, leaving thousands of people without power during a heat wave — some for several days. By Saturday, everyone’s power had been restored, according to ComEd’s outage map.
The storm’s impact, though, is only beginning to really resonate with residents, many of them expressing disbelief that a tornado-like weather event powerful enough to rip the roof off of an 18-unit apartment building, as happened in Bellwood on Monday, could touch down in the Proviso Township area.
According to the National Weather Service, the supercell storm — which is characterized by its deep, persistent rotating updraft and its potential to travel wide distances — “moved over 100 miles northeast Illinois to northwest Indiana” between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on June 13.
Impressive satellite view of the severe storm that trekked through Chicago this evening. pic.twitter.com/KvBx6BT2YS
— CIRA (@CIRA_CSU) June 14, 2022
The NWS Storm Damage Survey Team, which was dispatched to multiple suburbs after the storm, including Westchester, determined that the storm traveled at speeds of up to 95 miles per hour.
The survey team found the “most concentrated and severe” damage in Streamwood, Schaumburg, Roselle, Bellwood, Westchester, Riverside and Brookfield.
There were no fatalities or major injuries reported, but the damage to property and the human suffering resulting from power outages was extensive. In streets across the township, the storm left a sea of debris in its wake.
The Value City in Northlake, two apartment buildings in Westchester, and an 18-unit apartment building in Bellwood all lost significant parts of their roofs. Multiple homes across the township also sustained roof damage, the NWS survey team reported.
Multiple cars were damaged by falling tree branches. In Broadview, NWS reported numerous power lines and power poles “snapped and downed” at 25th Avenue and Cermak Road, and utility poles “snapped and blocking a street” near 21st Avenue and Cermak.
Monday’s supercell storm in the Chicago area was just a small part of a larger story on Monday evening, with Americans across the country dealing with “some sort of wild weather, with fires, floods, tornadoes and a punishing heat wave all wreaking havoc,” the Washington Post reported.
The Post reported that the NWS “received nearly 600 reports of severe weather Monday as violent thunderstorms erupted in the Midwest and charged southeastward through the Ohio Valley into southwest Virginia and western North Carolina. The storms unleashed winds up to 98 mph, downing hundreds of trees.”
The Post report even name-dropped Maywood twice, mistakenly locating the 18-unit apartment there instead of nearby Bellwood.
A heat wave, with temperatures across the country in the upper 90s and near 100, affected some 120 million Americans and lasted into Wednesday, the Post reported.
ComEd provided coach buses to some suburbs, including Broadview and Westchester, so residents without power could have a place to cool down, hydrate and charge their electronics.
Monday’s unusually intense storm might be considered a preview of what’s to come in an era of global warming and increasingly fragile energy grids.
“As heat ramps up ahead of what forecasters say will be a hotter than normal summer, electricity experts and officials are warning that states may not have enough power to meet demand in the coming months,” CNN reported on June 2.
“And many of the nation’s grid operators are also not taking climate change into account in their planning, even as extreme weather becomes more frequent and more severe.”
Romany Webb, a researcher at Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, told CNN that the country’s “electricity system is old and a lot of the infrastructure was built before we started thinking about climate change. It’s not designed to withstand the impacts of climate change.”