When St. Charles city, park and fire officials considered canceling or postponing the annual fireworks display last week, the thought was one-eighth of an inch of rain wouldn't do much to address the dangerous dry conditions. Then Sunday's deluge arrived.
On Monday, the grounds at Pottawatomie Park were a bit greener and notably more moist than in recent weeks. St. Charles and its neighbors logged the highest amount of precipitation in the 24 hours between Sunday morning and Monday morning with 1.33 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
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The rainfall and high winds did their share of damage, but Mayor Don DeWitte said he believes the city weathered the storm better than most. As of Monday night, 99.9 percent of residents had electricity operating as usual in their homes and businesses.
"We took a beating here in St. Charles," DeWitte said. "But the response by all of our staff and departments was nothing less than spectacular. We're back up, online and doing business again."
DeWitte said ComEd has even asked the city for help in lending some of its electrical workers to restore power to surrounding communities.
"We're busy these days, but maybe later this week we'll be able to give them some assistance," DeWitte said.
More free time may come after Wednesday as officials have decided the fireworks show will go on as planned. The fireworks begin at dusk and are typically viewed by thousands of people who fill Pottawatomie Park or Ferson Creek Park. The parks open at 8 a.m. Picnic tables will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Food and games are available at the River View Miniature Golf Course.
Swanson Pool at Pottawatomie Park also opens at noon for park district residents and season pass holders. All others get access to the pool beginning at 12:30 p.m. It closes at 6 p.m.
The Fox Valley Concert Band will provide music from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the amphitheater. Red Woody will take the stage at 6 p.m.
If inclement weather, such as seen on Sunday, strikes again, fireworks will be rescheduled for the next clear evening. The National Weather service predicts a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms for Wednesday morning, clearing to partly cloudy skies, calm wind and temperatures of about 74 degrees in the evening.
Batavia will also proceed with its firework show, officials said Monday. Mayor Jeff Schielke said he and Fire Chief Randy Deicke have checked the dryness of the soybean field at Mooseheart where the fireworks are fired from.
"It's fairly green out there," Schielke said, noting the fire department will be on hand in case something does catch on fire.