ALBANY PARK — Despite the heavy storms that rolled through Chicago Friday night, Steve Yee safely made it home from work.
And his car sure didn't.
Yee was almost home at about 6 p.m. Friday when the rain got so intense he paused at the corner of North Central Park Avenue and West Ainslie Street.
"You couldn't see in front of you at all," Yee said. "It came down like a blanket."
Then Yee heard his back windshield on his Honda Civic "pop out" and saw branches crashing down on his hood. The tree on the corner had given way, and Yee said he put his hands over his head and hoped for the best.
"I said a prayer. I said 'Please, don't let this be it!' " he said.
Luckily, the roof of his car held and Yee wasn't hurt. But the tree trapped him inside.
He squeezed himself out as firefighters arrived on the scene, but his car — and the tree — were still blocking the intersection of Central Park and Ainslie as of Saturday afternoon.
Yee, 42, said city officials weren't able to give him any kind of time frame for when the tree would be moved, but he said he was just happy he avoided getting hurt.
"It was just so scary," Yee said, laughing. "What kind of timing is that? You're driving and you get hit by a tree?"
He said he was waiting to hear back from his insurance company about covering the damage to his car. And despite the rocky start to the Labor Day weekend, Yee said he's actually feeling pretty lucky.
"My wife said I should buy a lottery ticket because I didn't get hurt," he said.
Friday night's storm caused dime-sized hail and heavy rains to hit parts of the city, and winds reached an estimated 70 miles per hour near the lakefront, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm uprooted a number trees around the city, officials said, and at least one woman was hospitalized when a roof collapsed in Wicker Park.