Outages, storm damage widespread in Will County
Sun-Times Media June 30, 2012 7:44AM
Nick Szalinski stands under one of the trees damaged at his residence in the 300 block of Farrell Road in unincorporated Homer Township Saturday, June 30, 2012. Several trees at the home were severely damaged during Friday night's storms.
Updated: July 1, 2012 4:42PM
Friday’s storms brought heavy wind gusts in addition to rain, and left behind downed power lines, a lot of tree damage and damage to utility poles.
Nearly 60,000 ComEd customers lost power in those areas. As of 11:30 a.m., nearly 23,000 customers remained without power.
About 46,000 of the 60,000 outages reported were in the Joliet area, ComEd spokeswoman Arlana Johnson said. The rest of the outages affected customers in Kendall County, Aurora, DeKalb and Dixon.
The outages will complicate things as the heat wave will return as temperatures climb back into the mid to high 90s for the weekend. An extended heat advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service as the heat cover the Northern Illinois area for the next 5 days.
Without power for fans or air conditioning, residents are looking for ways to keep cool.
Residents in Lockport reported having difficulty getting ice to fill coolers to save food from spoiling that is in refridgerators and freezers. Many stores are closed because of no power.
Nick Szalinski of Lockport said he was having difficulty getting his prescription filled because pharmacies were closed. Szaliniski, 22, broke his hand Friday during a workout and said Saturday morning the pain was getting “pretty uncomfortable.”
Customers began reporting outages after 9 p.m. Friday when heavy wind gusts from storms moving through the area caused down power lines and pole damage, Dixon said.
The NWS reported wind gusts of 92 mph near Oswego, 87 mph in Romeoville, and 85 mph at Lockport, with quarter-size hail in Mokena, Peotone and Plainfield. Tree limbs were reported down throughout the southwest suburbs where there were numerous power outages.
The rain totals varied, with 1.18 inches reported at the weather service office in Romeoville, .42 inches at O’Hare International Airport, and about .28 inches at Midway International Airport, the weather service reported.
Friday’s storms were responsible for two house fires in Joliet. It appears high winds moving through at 9:46 p.m. knocked a power line onto the roof of 221 Eastern Ave. and ignited the house. No one was injured but the structure was destroyed by the fire and razed Saturday morning.
About 10 minutes later, residents came home to the 2100 block of Dartmoor Drive and saw their house in flames. Police Chief Mike Trafton said they attempted to break the front window so their dog could escape, but the animal perished in the blaze. According to reports, the fire was started by lightning and rendered the house uninhabitable.
Gougar Road was shut down from trees and debris.
Most of the NHRA events at Route 66 Raceway had finished before the worst came through but one man was seriously injured by the winds as he walked out.
“An inflated oil can (used) for advertising blew away and knocked him into a wall, breaking his shoulder and leg,” Trafton said.
In Crest Hill, the winds snapped the pole flying the American flag at the top of Siegel’s Cottonwood Farms on Weber Road.
ComEd reminded customers to stay away from and report any downed power lines, and report outages to (800) Edison1 or text outages to OUT26633. ComEd also has a mobile app, for both iPhone and Android devices, which customers can use to report outages.
Herald-News writer Brian Stanley contributed to this report.