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Chicago residents fled to their basements and nearby shelters when a surprise tornado ripped through the Windy City as it experienced 100F weather for the first time in a decade. 

About 44,000 have been left without power after a tornado hit during Monday’s afternoon rush hour, bringing 80 mph winds and powerful storms throughout the area that knocked the lights out for residents in Chicago, Maywood, Broadview, Westchester, and other neighborhoods, NBC reported.  

It forced many to take shelter in their basements, local malls and open businesses on the street to avoid the chaos, all while the storm clouds head eastward, sending thunderstorm warnings to Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey

It comes as the Midwest is experiencing a scorching heat dome sending, temperatures soaring to 100F and creating the conditions for powerful storms heading to New York City by Thursday.     

A Chicago resident was pictured taking a jog in front of a home where a downed tree destroyed a Riverside home after a tornado ripped through the Windy City during Monday rush hour

A Chicago resident was pictured taking a jog in front of a home where a downed tree destroyed a Riverside home after a tornado ripped through the Windy City during Monday rush hour

The powerful winds knocked down trees throughout the area. Pictured, a tree fell on a car in the Kenwood neighborhood

The powerful winds knocked down trees throughout the area. Pictured, a tree fell on a car in the Kenwood neighborhood

City employees are seen in front of a wall that was partially broken due to the 80 mph winds

City employees are seen in front of a wall that was partially broken due to the 80 mph winds

Dozens of trees fell on the city's rail system as city employees worked to clear the tracks on Monday night

Dozens of trees fell on the city’s rail system as city employees worked to clear the tracks on Monday night

The heat dome has expanded up north will settle in the states until Wednesday night

The heat dome has expanded up north will settle in the states until Wednesday night

Among the hardest hit areas in Chicago was its Bellwood suburb, where Mayor Andre Harvey said at least 18 families have been displaced and two people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. 

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The Brookfield Zoo announced it was opening late on Tuesday, with some areas completely closed off, as it cleans up damage caused by the storm. 

‘We received significant damage to our grounds due to last night’s storm,’ Zoo officials tweeted. ‘We will be clearing downed trees and pathways and assessing the extensive damage this morning.’ 

As the storm cells have moved out of Chicago, the city is under an excessive heat warning until 8p.m. Wednesday, with temperatures expected to reach 98 to 100F on Tuesday. To residents, it will feel more like 110F. 

Chicago’s Department Of Buildings Commissioner Matt Beaudet warned residents to stay inside cool buildings during the major heat and to regularly check up on elderly neighbors and family members, who are among the most vulnerable during extreme heat. 

Pictured: the storm cells hovering over Chicago as the tornado was set o barrel down on the Windy City

Pictured: the storm cells hovering over Chicago as the tornado was set o barrel down on the Windy City

The tornado came with powerful thunderstorms that are expected to hit the East coast in the coming days

The tornado came with powerful thunderstorms that are expected to hit the East coast in the coming days 

The devastation was seen throughout Chicago and its adjacent neighborhoods, including Riverside (pictured)

The devastation was seen throughout Chicago and its adjacent neighborhoods, including Riverside (pictured)

The storm darkened Chicago as thunderclouds formed quickly. Pictured, Wrigley Field closed as the storm hits

The storm darkened Chicago as thunderclouds formed quickly. Pictured, Wrigley Field closed as the storm hits

One Chicago resident took shelter in his bathtub, accompanying his frightened dog

One Chicago resident took shelter in his bathtub, accompanying his frightened dog 

The heat dome lies from Phoenix, Arizona, to the Carolinas and from as south as Texas to as north as Minnesota

The heat dome lies from Phoenix, Arizona, to the Carolinas and from as south as Texas to as north as Minnesota

Around 140 cities will see record breaking temperatures this week with the heat wave possibly stretching as far north as Michigan. Iowa is also expected to suffer through temperatures around 100F.

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In Louisville, Kentucky, temperatures in the upper 90s are expected during the day on Tuesday and only dropping into the 80s by nightfall. Highs in the city will remain around that level until next Saturday when they drop to 85.

Tennesseans are warned to expect temperatures in the 90s that will feel like the 100s thanks to wind from the Gulf of Mexico bringing moisture and creating humidity in the area. Those temperatures will last until Thursday.

Kansas will see temperatures in the middle to upper 90s for the next few days that due to the humidity will feel around 100 to 105F.

A record will be broken in St. Louis too if the hits 101F on Tuesday as expected, the previous record was 97F. The temperature will remain in the triple digits this week.

On the east coast, South Carolina will see temperatures that will feel like between 100F and 105F throughout the week.

As will North Carolina, with Charlotte expected to break its temperature record for June that was set back in 1958 when temperatures hit 97F.

The National Weather Service extended flash flood warnings for Ohio and West Virginia as storms arrive to Virginia and Pennsylvania. Sever weather warnings are in effect until Thursday for the region

The National Weather Service extended flash flood warnings for Ohio and West Virginia as storms arrive to Virginia and Pennsylvania. Sever weather warnings are in effect until Thursday for the region  

The NWS issued a heat warning for most of the country east of the Rocky Mountains

The NWS issued a heat warning for most of the country east of the Rocky Mountains

Respite for the Carolinas in the heatwave will be mild at best with 90F predicted for next Saturday.

Current models show that the heatwave will start to move back west by the end of next week, although central Texans will get no respite as temperatures will stay close to 100F all week in the area.

According to The Weather Channel, Phoenix will experience another day of 114F temperatures on Thursday. The city hit that record equaling number already on Sunday.

The National Weather Service said that Los Angels County will see ‘potentially dangerous’ temperatures in the area again by Thursday. Over the weekend, LA County saw temperatures of 100F in some inland areas.

On Thursday, weather in Phoenix could reach 113F, just nine degrees cooler than the hottest temperature recorded in the area – 122Fin 1990, according to AZ Family. 

Heat is part of the normal routine of summertime in the desert, but weather forecasters say that doesn’t mean people should feel at ease.

Excessive heat causes more deaths in the U.S. than other weather-related disasters, including hurricanes, floods and tornadoes combined.

Meteorologists advise people in these affected areas to drink more water than usual during peak hours of the heat, wherever they may be.

Wearing protection, including hats, sunscreen and sunglasses, is also advised. It’s not recommended to wear dark clothes as black clothing often transmits heat to the skin, making a person hotter.

Scientists say more frequent and intense heat waves are likely in the future because of climate change and a deepening drought.

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