The severe weather also locked up evening rush-hour traffic and delayed flights in and out of Chicago.
Central Illinois remained dry this evening, but meteorologists predicted storms to strike that area in the twilight hours. Southern Illinois was already seeing blustery weather with lightning and high winds.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for southern Cook County after storm spotters reported funnel clouds lingering over communities.
Meteoroloist Andrew Krein says counties around Chicago saw golf-ball sized hail, 60 mile per hour winds and some flooded streets.