VALPARAISO | Porter County's 54 emergency sirens are relied upon to give warning to foul weather and potentially dangerous situations, but age, vandalism and maintenance needs have left the system far from foolproof.
CHICAGO | People who were supposed to be released from the Cook County Jail on Monday may have wound up spending an extra day or so in custody due to the severe weather conditions.
Region views on climate change
Region views on climate change
Danielle Shore, Munster | "Yes. I think it's changing, definitely. Storms, since when I was a kid, have gotten much more severe. Now when it snows we get one storm and that's it."
Marrissa O'Donley, Merrillville | "Yes, it seems like it. All of the hurricanes and tornadoes and thunderstorms. It seems like we're getting more each year."
Sarah Fagan, Crown Point | "Yes. I think it's part of the progression of global warming. We're ruining the Earth and changing our weather pattern. What we do affects our weather."
Dioniseo Guerra, Hammond | "It seems that they are. I grew up in the Midwest, and from my memory overall, the weather has changed."
Lawrence McMillan, Gary | "Not really. Even when I was a kid, it still seems the same to me."
Beatrice Smith, Hammond | "They seem to be more frequent. I've heard of a tornado path down south. I believe global warming and the space program are contributing."
Joey Lax-Salinas snapped this panoramic photo of Wednesday's storm near 113th Street and Calumet Avenue just south of Dyer near Shoe Corner
Dan Ziegler, Hebron | "For electricity I've got a generator that I use. We have canned food and a spare sump pump. If we get hit by a tornado, we'll take a vacation."
James Dahlke, Kouts | "I head south and leave it behind. I've got a house in southern Florida."
Milton Chavez, Whiting | "Evacuate as soon as I hear about it, I'd go. I get my valuables and head to higher ground."
Paul Trgovcich, Valparaiso | "Stock up on beer and survive indefinitely."
Downpours of rain and ping pong ball-sized hail accompanied by roaring thunder and fierce lightning ripped through the region Thursday night — quenching the area's thirst for precipitation.
The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for southeastern Cook County in northeast Illinois and Lake County and western Porter County in northwest Indiana, effective until 4:15 p.m.
As of Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center reported 1,427 tornadoes in the United States this year alone. Some of those tornadoes have been deadly. That makes the need to learn more about tornadoes all the more urgent.
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