ISLAND PARK DISTRICT maintenance supervisor Bill Crews drags a tree limb to a waiting tractor, trying to make a dent in the disaster that was the South Island Park on Tuesday.It will take days, probably longer,for park employees to remove the fallen trees.
There's nearly one in every lawn - if not an uprooted or splintered tree, then a limb, blown down by a powerful thunderstorm with straight-line winds that hit Wilmington just after 10 p.m. on Monday, June 30.
At 9:52 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for southern Will County. The NWS warned that 70 mph wind gusts were possible, and considerable tree damage could be expected. The storm was also noted to be capable of producing hail up to three-quarters of an inch in diameter.
The front was moving through to the southeast at approximately 60 mph, and was predicted to hit around at 10 p.m. It blew in right on time, and packed a heavy punch.
Power in every neighborhood in Wilmington blinked out within minutes. The straight-line winds took down trees, and the trees pulled down power lines. In some instances, the utility poles could not withstand the storm's fury and either snapped, or fell.
"We've got the total grid down," commented city administrator Tony Graff. The damage extended to Lakewood Shores, Ritchie and Resthaven.
See how emergency service providers spent the night, and how the outage was tackled, this week in the print and online editions of The Free Press Advocate - the print edition requires no electricity!