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updated: 7/22/2013 7:42 PM

Big storm calls for big cleanup

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  • An Arlington Heights public works crew feeds fallen tree limbs from South Beverly Lane into the chipper on Monday.

       An Arlington Heights public works crew feeds fallen tree limbs from South Beverly Lane into the chipper on Monday.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Jeremy Meyer of Arlington Heights public works, cuts down a tree limb along East Rockwell Street.

       Jeremy Meyer of Arlington Heights public works, cuts down a tree limb along East Rockwell Street.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • A crew from Powell Tree Care cuts down a tree on Park Street in Arlington Heights.

       A crew from Powell Tree Care cuts down a tree on Park Street in Arlington Heights.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
By Peter Timotijevic
ptimotijevic@dailyherald.com

The rain started falling around 7:30 p.m. Friday, and three days later, public works crews and private contractors were still cleaning up the mess the storm left.

In the Scarsdale neighborhood in Arlington Heights on Monday, workers were cutting branches that were hanging precariously over the street.

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Among them was public works employee Michael Braunstreuter.

"So far we've been driving around, chipping and taking care of any safety concerns," he said. He and his partner, Jeremy Meyer, said they had been working constantly since Friday.

An estimated 18,000 customers in the Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect area lost power in the wake of Friday night's storm, during which trees and branches fell on electrical lines. By 11 a.m. Sunday, power was back for all customers.

Don Stella of Arlington Heights was among the powerless, from 9:30 p.m. Friday to early Saturday morning. He has a generator but couldn't use it because it runs on natural gas and wasn't set up yet.

Stella thought the high winds were the worst part of the storm.

"I've never seen anything like hurricane-force winds before," he said.

On Monday, crews were combing the worst-hit neighborhoods. A truck with a cherry-picker went first as workers cut down dangling branches from parkway trees. A chipper truck followed to shred the wood and take it away.

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