Strong wind and torrential rain buffeted the Midwest Tuesday as forecasters predicted the giant storm could be the most powerful to hit Illinois in over seven decades.
The storm — quickly nicknamed a "chiclone" and "windpocalypse" — swept an area that stretched from the Dakotas to the eastern Great Lakes. Severe thunderstorm warnings blanketed much of the Midwest, and tornado warnings were issued from Arkansas to southern Illinois.
The National Weather Service said the storm is one of the strongest to hit the region in decades.
"We're expecting sustained winds on the order of 35 to 40 mph (55-65 kph) with gusts up to 60 mph (100 kph) throughout the afternoon," said Edward Fenelon, a weather service meteorologist in Romeoville, Illinois. He said the storm's central pressure is equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane.
Commuters in the Chicago area faced a blustery, wind-driven rain as they waited for trains to take them downtown before dawn. Some huddled underneath train overpasses to stay out of the gusts, dashing to the platform at the last minute.
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