More than 600 ComEd customers in Evanston are reported to be without power this afternoon after a series of severe thunderstorms swept through that also knocked down trees and knocked the main police radio channel off the air.

The power failure reportedly is centered near Hartrey Avenue and Dempster Street and traffic signals on Dempster from McCormick Boulevard to Ridge Avenue have also been knocked out.

Lightning struck the radio tower at police headquarters on Elmwood Avenue and left part of the antenna dangling from the roof. Police were able to continue to communicate with dispatchers using a secondary channel.

There were scattered reports of trees down across the city, with at least one tree — near the intersection of Main Street and Forest Avenue — falling on a parked car.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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