Thousands in the Chicago lost power overnight after a series of thunderstorms moved into the area, bringing both much-needed rainfall and some relief from the ongoing heat wave.
According to ComEd, the overnight storms knocked out power for about 121,000 customers, many of them west of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports. As of Thursday morning, 42,000 of them remained without electricity.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a ComEd spokesman did not immediately indicate when power will be restored to those customers.
Lightning is being blamed as the culprit behind a house fire that began just after midnight in Chicago's Dunning Square neighborhood, according to CBS Chicago. No one was injured in the blaze.
In northwest suburban Carpentersville, a tree fell onto a home, crashing through the roof as wind gusts reached as high as 81 mph in parts of the Chicagoland area, ABC Chicago reports. No injuries were reported in the incident.
Scattered thunderstorms remain possible through early Thursday afternoon, when the heat is expected to return, according to NBC Chicago. Late afternoon temperatures are expected to hit the mid- to upper-80s.
The state is currently in the midst of a serious drought. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller said this week that "the best thing for us to do is just hope and pray for rain, and hopefully that will turn around, but there’s really a forecast of not much of an end in sight in terms of our drought conditions."
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday announced an expanded call for federal disaster relief support for those impacted by the dry, hot conditions, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The governor has requested relief for a total of 33 Illinois counties.
A new surge of hot weather is expected to take hold on the Chicago area Sunday through mid-next week, the Chicago Weather Center forecasts.
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