Strong winds buffet Chicago; tornado watch issued

AP News
Posted: Oct 26, 2010 7:28 AM
Strong winds buffet Chicago; tornado watch issued

Forecasters say Illinois residents should brace for potentially the most powerful storm the state has seen in over seven decades.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning that's effective from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Tornado watches or warnings have been issued for the entire Chicago area, much of central and northwest Illinois and parts of southern Illinois.

Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Allsopp says the storm is expected to be one of the strongest to hit the state in more than 70 years.

The weather service says a gust that topped 50 miles per hour slammed into the Chicago suburb of Lombard early Tuesday.

The winds have already caused some damage. ComEd spokesman Bennie Currie says the utility is trying to restore power to about 5,600 customers.