Tree damage, power outages in Wheeling

Wheeling: Tree uprooted by powerful storms (ABC7's Jason Knowles)

June 22, 2011 9:29:36 AM PDT
The northwest suburbs were cleaning up Wednesday after powerful storms knocked down trees and cut power to thousands.

In Skokie, a huge tree snapped and fell into a yard. There is damage in many other nearby locations as well, including Wheeling, where it was easy to find storm damage. There were tree limbs down everywhere, and cleanup was expected to last through the day.

The Department of Public Works says damage is concentrated on the east side of Wheeling. Some of the trees that were ripped apart are 50 years old, and there are some reports of larger trees going through some homes, plus some roof damage. .

"The winds were strong. They say that some of them were clocked at 80 miles per hour. I don't know if they clocked them at the airport, but clearly this wasn't a 50-mile-per-hour wind that did this kind of damage," said Tony Stavros, director of public works, Wheeling.

Officials in Wheeling say that some of the wind gusts were clocked up to 100 miles per hour. There were no injuries reported.

For many residents, Wednesday will be a day for cleanup after strong winds brought down tree limbs.

Yanked out of the ground: A giant tree -- grass and all -- was uprooted in Wheeling. The tree crashed on top of Lidia Diaconu's roof.

"It's a big, big noise, and I was in my garage, and I run in the basement, then I run way upstairs," Diaconu said. "Praise God everybody's alright, and, you know, what can I do?"

"Hearing all the transformers go 'pop, pop, pop,' and heard something like a log drop outside my front window and saw my tree laying on my front yard and on my neighbor's house," said Joanna Hammond, neighbor.

At the nearby Palwaukee Airport, winds scattered parts of the hangar's roof and blew planes around the tarmac.

Back in the neighborhoods, more fallen trees trapped vehicles in driveways and littered yards . It will probably keep residents busy for days.

"Just a lot of cutting, a lot of cutting, a lot of moving the trees and stuff, so get to get the hands dirty a little bit," said Mike DiMaggio, who was cleaning up.

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