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Tornado lands in Chicago suburb, demolishing homes and uprooting trees

WOODRIDGE, Illinois.- A tornado touched down and caused extensive damage in the Chicago suburbs Sunday night as a series of severe storms brought heavy rain and damaging winds throughout the Chicago area.

A large tornado was reported in southern DuPage County, Illinois, by both radar and local storm spotters, around 11:10 p.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service is expected to confirm its strength and trajectory on Monday.

The tornado started in Naperville before reaching Woodridge. Woodridge Police said the tornado touched down east of Route 53 between 83rd and 75th streets. The tornado then traveled east to the Lemont Road area.

The tornado then moved into the Darien and Burr Ridge area. ABC7 Meteorologist Tracy Butler said the tornado could have traveled up to 15 miles.

Woodridge police said there are no reports of major injuries, but people are asked to avoid the area due to damage.

Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis said five people were transported to hospitals, including one who was seriously injured.

The NWS will assess the strength of the tornado. ABC7 meteorologists Butler and Larry Mowry said the damage to trees and homes in Woodridge could possibly be caused by an EF2 to EF3 tornado.

Chopper 7HD surveys damage at Woodridge

The 7HD helicopter flies over tornado-damaged homes in western suburban Woodridge.

Video from Woodridge showed extensive damage from the storm, including large trees uprooted at the base. Branches and trees littered roads and front yards, as did pieces of drywall and shingles from homes. Signs were knocked down, as were power lines. Emergency crews from neighboring Lisle and Darien also responded to Woodridge to help.

Chief Puknaitis said about 130 homes were damaged by the storms, 10 of them uninhabitable and one that is completely leveled.

The Naperville Fire Chief describes the damage after a tornado passed through the area.

The 7HD helicopter flew over 77th Street and Ranchview Drive, where one home was completely destroyed, while a home next door suffered some roof damage and another appeared intact.

The tornado ripped off the roof and second floor of Bridget Casey’s home.

“Everything happened so fast, it was like a ‘whistle’ and I crawled out of my room to get to my little kids and my oldest son came over to help me get them and then we all went downstairs,” Casey said. .

WATCH: Storm tracker describes being in the middle of a storm and spotting a tornado

Storm tracker Anthony Welch describes what it was like during and after the storm.

Resident Crystal Porter was on her way home from Joliet when the storm hit and had to cut down a tree just to get to her driveway.

“I’ve lost all my living trees and one tree that should have been cut down,” Porter said. “Now it’s down. None of them have hit my house. They came within inches of hitting my house and my neighbor’s house.”

Mowry said it was the most intense tornado this area has seen in a long time, and the extent of the damage will likely be large, especially because of its wedge shape. Meteorologist Phil Schwartz noted that while northeastern Illinois has seen several larger tornadoes in the recent past, they have occurred in much more rural areas with a lower density of people.

The extent of the damage makes it difficult for emergency crews to reach people who may need help. Some first responders are trying to reach anyone who may need help, while others are working to clear roads to help them get through.

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