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Severe Storm Spares Chicago, Suburbs Left Without Power

 Photos of a Chicago thunderstorm from June 12, 2013.
Chicago Thunderstorm
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CHICAGO — The flash flooding, huge hail and damaging winds that were expected for the Chicago area hit the suburbs but largely spared the city, weather experts said. 

Chicago saw some lighting and rain, but less than half an inch of precipitation was measured at O'Hare Airport, the official measuring point, according to the National Weather Service.

"The really intense line of thunderstorms that were expected to develop didn't really take shape," weather service meteorologist Richard Castro said, referring to the city.

But northern Illinois suburbs and northwest Indiana were hit hard with strong winds, flooding and reports of golfball-sized hail, Castro said. The storm headed East,  hitting Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa.

There were reports of funnel clouds, but the weather service could not confirm any tornadoes.

Castro said that meteorologists would be investigating to determine whether battered areas were damaged by tornadoes or heavy winds.

"Sometimes turbulent motion of the clouds looks like funnel clouds," Castro said. "Even trained spotters will misidentify what looks like a funnel."

As of about 6 a.m., 6,500 ComEd customers in northern Illinois were left without power, but just 200 of those were in the Chicago region, ComEd spokeswoman Ashley Dennison said.

Overnight, at its peak, the storm left 39,00 customers without power, Dennison said.

More than 120 flights were canceled at O'Hare Airport ahead of the storm, and several Metra trains were briefly stopped during rush hour because of the weather. 

The White Sox game against the Toronto Blue Jays was canceled, as well as some shows at Navy Pier.

Thursday and Friday are expected to be quieter, though storms could return for the weekend.