People in the western Great Lakes and Ohio Valley woke up to the threat of flash flooding, lightning-filled storms and damaging winds Monday, and meteorologists warned a multi-day severe weather threat would kick into high gear.
Sunday was the beginning of the event in the Upper Midwest. The threat is pushing into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley Monday into Tuesday, putting cities from Chicago to Indianapolis into Louisville on alert.
Dark skies hang over Chicago Monday morning. More storms are expected in the area later today. (Alex Kalausich/Instagram)
“We’re looking at heavy rain, possibly with intense lightning and strong winds through Tuesday,” explained Bonnie Schneider, meteorologist at The Weather Channel.
A thunderstorm watch stretched from central Illinois into central Indiana until 4 p.m. ET. Peoria, Champaign and Indianapolis were all in the watch area. You can get the full forecast at the weather.com severe tracker.
Here are the latest impacts:
Sunday morning storms west of Indianapolis in Crawford County were blamed for a lightning strike that started a fire that destroyed the Sulphur Pentecostal Church, WHAS-TV reports. Flood watches are up across the state.
On Monday, the storms caused departure delays of up to 90 minutes at Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare International airports. A second, possibly more powerful wave of severe weather is expected to move through the Windy City later.
Rain is the last thing Louisville needs. Heavy storms Sunday morning dropped about 5 inches of rain in just a few hours, according to the Courier-Journal. Flooding left drivers stranded, and forced organizers to cancel the last day of the weekend-long Blues, Brews & BBQ festival.
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The National Weather Service reported several possible tornadoes in western Minnesota Sunday night. High winds slammed Brainerd around 8 p.m. CDT, bringing down large trees and causing damage to at least one home. There was also damage to the Brainerd International Raceway. No one was hurt.
At the height of the storm, more than 7,500 Minnesota Power customers, including all of Round Lake and Gull Lake, and more than 13,000 Xcel Energy had lost power. In Wisconsin, We Energies reported that more than 30,000 of its customers had lost power.
By Monday morning, power had been restored to some customers but thousands still remained without electricity.
Forecasters warn the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, ahead of the All-Star Game later this week, is scheduled for Monday at 8 p.m. at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark and could be in limbo. Early forecasts showed a 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms around the time the event is set to begin.
Heavy rain overnight flooded 70 to 80 homes in Mineral Wells, southeast of Parkersburg. The National Weather Service reported water was up past car windows and people were rescued by boat from the Lincolnshire Apartments.
There was also flooding reported in Richwood and the West Virginia State Fairgrounds.