(Updates with two deaths in northern Indiana)
By Carey Gillam
July 1 Hundreds of thousands of people were
without power on Tuesday after a deadly storm that brought
tornadoes, high winds, hail and heavy rain to the central United
Illinois was particularly hard hit as flooding, downed trees
and fires caused by lightning strikes snarled traffic, cut power
and delayed or canceled hundreds of flights in and out of
"It's been a ride. This was a lot of wind and a lot of
lightning," said ComEd spokeswoman Kim Morris-Johnson.
About 400,000 ComEd customers lost power in the
storm and 153,000 remained without power on Tuesday afternoon,
mainly in the region south of Chicago, the company said.
Iowa also took a direct hit, with hail measuring 3 to 4
inches (7.6 to 10 cm) in diameter and peak winds of 90 mph (145
kph) recorded, said National Weather Service spokesman Pat
Slattery. Cars were damaged and windows were broken by the
hailstorms, the NWS said.
Two men died in northern Indiana early on Tuesday during the
storm, according to officials. One of the men died when a tree
fell on a mobile home in Kosciusko County, the sheriff's
Another person died in Linn County, Iowa, the sheriff's
office there said, when a building collapsed in heavy winds.
Authorities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Tuesday afternoon
recovered the body of a 17-year-old boy who was swept into a
storm drain on Monday night after heavy rains hit the area, said
Greg Buelow, the city's public safety spokesman.
Cedar Rapids received 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) of rain on
Sunday and Monday, leaving the ground saturated even before the
Monday afternoon storm, Buelow said.
Slattery said the storm system triggered a "mini-tornado
outbreak" in northern Missouri, including one in the Kansas City
metropolitan area that toppled several trees onto roadways.
Twisters also damaged homes in Nebraska and Iowa, he said.
In southeast Michigan, about 140,000 DTE Energy
customers lost power at the height of the storm because of high
winds and lightning and 90,000 were without service on Tuesday
At Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, more than 200
flights were canceled and 600 delayed on Monday night because of
the storm, according to Flightaware.com.
(Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Additional reporting
by David Bailey in Minneapolis and Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee;
Editing by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney)