Updated: June 23, 2011 2:16AM
CHICAGO — Fast-moving thunderstorms and a pair of tornadoes moved across northern Illinois Tuesday night, leaving hundreds of thousands in the dark and closing several suburban Chicago post offices and a Cook County courthouse on Wednesday.
Tornadoes struck Downers Grove and Mount Prospect on Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday. Both tornadoes had wind speeds of between 90 and 100 mph, were 200 yards wide and traveled about 2 miles.
Nearly 400 ComEd repair crews worked to fix the storm damage that left more than 420,000 customers without electricity.
About 169,000 customers remained without power Wednesday evening, according to ComEd. About 1,700 customers were in the city of Chicago and the rest in the suburbs. The utility company said it may be several days before power is restored to the areas affected by the storms.
Several post offices in the northern and western suburbs also were without power, disrupting mail service, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Sean Hargadon.
Mail delivery and retail services were limited in places with ZIP codes beginning in 6-0-0, including Des Plaines, Glencoe, Lake Forest and Wheeling. Officials were hoping to resume regular postal service today, he said.
“We’re still waiting on an update from ComEd,” Hargadon said. “They have a lot to handle.”