Weather Service: Suburban Chicago tornado had 140 mph winds

CHICAGO — A tornado that swept through Chicago’s western suburbs, damaging more than 100 homes and injuring several people, was packing 140 mph (225 kph) winds when it hit the heavily populated area, the National Weather Service said.

A weather service team that surveyed the aftermath of Sunday night’s tornado found that, based on Monday’s preliminary findings, the storm was an EF3 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale when it cut a path through parts of Naperville, Woodridge, Darien and Burr Ridge.

The weather service planned to continue surveying that area Tuesday to determine the precise path, width and length of the storm’s trail of destruction, said Jake Petr, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Romeoville office.

“So overall we’re still solidifying the findings for the whole event of this tornado,” he said Tuesday.

The weather service said Monday it had confirmed that an EF0 tornado with peak winds of 85 mph (137 kph) hit another portion of suburban Chicago on Sunday, causing damage that stretched about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from Plainfield to Romeoville, mostly damaging trees.

Petr said the weather service planned to visit northwestern Indiana on Tuesday to determine if damage in the Hobart and South Haven areas was also caused by a tornado.

The weather service determined Monday that two EF1 tornadoes packing winds up to 100 mph (161 kph) struck northern Indiana’s St. Joseph and Steuben counties Sunday, damaging some barns and trees and destroying other exterior structures.