Strong storms roar across US midwest

175,000 ComEd customers without power in Chicago area

CHICAGO | July 24, 2012

Powerful summer thunderstorms roared across eastern Iowa into northern Illinois and northern Indiana Tuesday, downing trees and snapping power lines.

About 175,000 ComEd customers were without electrical power in the Chicago area and blinking traffic lights and debris on train tracks slowed the morning commute for thousands, a ComEd spokeswoman said. Downed trees and broken limbs were reported throughout the metropolitan region.

The fast-moving line of storms, called a derecho by meteorologists, was clocked at up to 55 mph and packed top winds reaching 70 mph north and south of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune said. Winds gusted at 61 mph at Midway Airport halting early morning flight operations. At least 35 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport, said, and incoming flights were not permitted to land.

Golfball-size hail pelted Wellsville, Ohio.

Forecasters said high humidity would continue to fire strong storms as they barrel southeast into southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.

Hail and high winds were reported from thunderstorms in southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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