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updated: 12/14/2017 4:03 PM

Whipping winds, broken clamp topple Naperville holiday tree

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  • Naperville's holiday tree in front of the municipal center fell Wednesday during an afternoon and evening of gusty winds, Mayor Steve Chirico said. Public works crews worked to put it back up again Thursday.

    Naperville's holiday tree in front of the municipal center fell Wednesday during an afternoon and evening of gusty winds, Mayor Steve Chirico said. Public works crews worked to put it back up again Thursday.
    Courtesy of Steve Chirico

 
 

High winds on Wednesday combined with a broken clamp to topple Naperville's holiday tree outside the municipal center.

The Norway spruce donated by public works employee Kathy Rendeck fell on its side, blocking part of the circular driveway in front of the building at 400 S. Eagle St.

The city may have been a bit "overzealous" in displaying such a tall tree, Mayor Steve Chirico said Thursday, calling it "quite a bit bigger" than trees the city has posted in the past.

At 48 feet tall, the spruce was installed Dec. 6 and stood for a week before running into trouble when the broken clamp let loose one of the cables that was holding it in place. The clamp broke as a front blew through the region, bringing a few snow flurries in some places and a maximum wind gust of 41 mph at the DuPage Airport in West Chicago -- the closest recording site to Naperville, according to the National Weather Service.

Happily, the tree didn't strike any people or vehicles and no injuries were reported.

"That's a bright spot," Chirico said.

Public works employees on Thursday worked to get the tree standing once again for the holidays.

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