Two tornadoes confirmed in Will, Grundy counties

National Weather Service confirms four regional tornadoes on Friday

An oak tree was uprooted and shingles were blown off a house in the River Crossing subdivision of Shorewood by what the National Weather Service said was an EF-1 tornado that went through the area Friday, July 30, 2023.

Two tornadoes started in Minooka on Friday night, causing damage there and in sections of Shorewood, Joliet and Channahon, the National Weather Service said.

An EF1 tornado produced winds near 95 mph, strong enough to cause structural damage to houses in Shorewood and snap trees, NWS said in a Sunday report. The report also confirmed four tornadoes in sections of Will, Grundy and Kankakee counties.

The EF1 tornado started in Minooka and continued into Joliet, where it damaged trees on the north end of the Joliet Junior College campus, moved across the soccer fields at the Inwood Athletic Complex and lifted off the ground near McDonough Street and Joyce Road, according to NWS.

The tornado started in a Minooka subdivision east of Hare Road and intensified to an EF1 level as it crossed the DuPage River in Shorewood at River Crossing Park, where large trees were snapped and some damage was done to houses consistent with winds up to 95 mph, NWS said.

Danica Belisle and her family live just east of the DuPage River where they felt the impact of the tornado intensifying.

“It was just before 11 o’clock and our phones went off with that alert,” Belisle said. “About 30 seconds later, the house started shaking and you heard loud banging. It felt like the roof was going to get sucked up, and we all got down to the floor.”

It was over in about half a minute. But the Belisles found a large oak tree had been uprooted and nearly missed hitting the house in the River Crossing subdivision. A large number of shingles from the roof were blown off.

An EF! tornado that the National Weather Service said appeared to intensify Friday night at the DuPage River in Shorewood knocked down trees and branches  on either side of a walkway leading from the river into the River Crossing subdivision. July 30, 2023.

The tornado appeared to tear up a swath of trees along a walkway leading from the DuPage River to States Lane, where the Belisles live. But there appeared to be little damage at neighboring houses.

Most of the damage in Shorewood was in the River Crossing and Lake Forrest subdivisions, Mayor Clarence “CC” DeBold said. The DuPage River separates the two subdivisions.

Most of the damage to houses came from falling trees, DeBold said.

“Our public works crews have been out all weekend,” DeBold said. “They’re out again today making sure residents get debris cleaned up.”

Public works crews will continue picking up branches this week, and residents are asked to put tree limbs in the parkway between the street and the sidewalk.

EF1 tornadoes produce winds between 86 and 110 mph.

A second tornado that started in Minooka took a different path before ending in the Joliet area.

An EF0 tornado, capable of producing winds from 65 mph to 85 mph, lifted off a portion of the roof on the Apostolic Church International, 205 Church St. in Minooka, NWS said.

A section of chainlink fence and trees outside the Crane Composite factory along U.S. 6 at the Joliet-Channahon border were knocked down by what the National Weather Service is saying was an EF-1 tornado on Friday night. July 30, 2023.

That tornado moved east causing tree damage in Minooka and Channahon. The tornado uprooted several large trees outside the Crane Composites factory, located along U.S. 6 at the border of Channahon and Joliet, and may have lifted off the ground near the Des Plaines River, NWS said.

NWS also confirmed two tornadoes in Kankakee County: an EF1 tornado in Momence and an EF-0 tornado that went into Bradley and a section of Kankakee.

Strong winds from the storms that arrived at about 11 p.m. caused damage beyond areas where tornadoes were confirmed.

The roof of a Frankfort fire station was damaged Friday night.

NWS also said that power lines were knocked down in an area running south of New Lenox to the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.

ComEd reported that an area from Joliet to University Park was among the heaviest hit by power outages.

A total of 124,000 customers throughout the ComEd system lost power in the storm. ComEd said 90% of them had power back by noon Saturday.