The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for this afternoon with the possibility of tornadoes and hail to the size of ping pong balls.

The forecast calls for winds of up to 80 miles per hour, and a message from the weather service on Twitter says the winds could hit as much as 100 miles per hour.

The storms are part of a derecho, or a widespread damaging wind event that causes destruction to trees, power lines and sometimes structures.

This storm got its start in eastern Nebraska this morning.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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