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Storms packing high winds, rain and hail pound Chicago area; Lollapalooza closes early


CHICAGO — Severe storms swept through the Chicago area late Sunday packing high winds, rain and hail that toppled trees and power lines, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The storms hit hardest about 50 miles north of Chicago, where National Weather Service Meteorologist Ricky Castro says there are reports that a tornado touched down near Grayslake.

Castro says the area was hit with winds of up to 60 mph along with hail and lightning. He says the threat of severe thunderstorms continues until about 2 a.m. Monday.

Chris Covelli, a detective with the Lake County Sheriff's Office, says there is extensive damage and police have closed numerous roads in unincorporated areas of northern Illinois because of downed trees and power lines. He says there are no reports of injuries so far.

The popular Lollapalooza music festival in downtown Chicago closed 30 minutes early Sunday evening because of severe weather, organizers said.

"Our first priority is always the safety of our fans, staff and artists," Sandee Fenton, director of publicity for the promoter of Lollapalooza, said in a statement. The festival said 89,000 fans safely exited from the grounds as instructed.

The festival was briefly suspended during another storm earlier on Sunday but resumed later in the afternoon.

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