Elgin police report 'pretty bad' downed wires, trees after Thursday storm

  • Thursday evening's storm in Elgin left downed power lines and trees in its wake.

    Thursday evening's storm in Elgin left downed power lines and trees in its wake. Courtesy of Bruce Shipyor

  • This tree fell Thursday night on the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue in Elgin.

    This tree fell Thursday night on the 300 block of Jefferson Avenue in Elgin. Courtesy of Bruce Shipyor

  • Louise Berkshire, 86, of Hoffman Estates stands next to a 40-year-old spruce that was uprooted when a storm blew through Thursday evening.

    Louise Berkshire, 86, of Hoffman Estates stands next to a 40-year-old spruce that was uprooted when a storm blew through Thursday evening. Courtesy of Mary Sobie

 
 
Updated 7/10/2020 12:37 AM

Multiple suburbs were battered by storms that blew through the area Thursday night, and Elgin was hit particularly hard.

"It's pretty bad," Elgin Fire Battalion Chief Joe VanDorpe said. "We got hit very heavy with these winds and the storm. We've got a large area of the town, in particular the center part of the town near the Fox River running all the way out to McLean Boulevard on the west side and probably from about Route 20 all the way up to Highland Avenue, that's devastated with trees down and wires down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"There are hundreds of trees down and associated wires with them. It's a lot. That whole end of town right now is pretty much without power with a few exceptions. Then the near-east side of the river is also in the same shape."

ComEd reported about 25,000 households without power across the region Thursday night, particularly in and around Elgin, Libertyville, Grayslake and Mundelein.

"We just had trees down pretty much throughout the town here on top of multiple electrical lines that are down," said Libertyville Fire Department Lieutenant Steve Holtz. "No big damage to anything or house-related or anything like that. Trees on power lines are pretty much our biggest calls."

The damage was relatively minor in Grayslake compared to Elgin.

"We just had supervisory alarms and one wire down, nothing to note, really," said Grayslake Fire Battalion Chief Michael Higgins.

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Hoffman Estates was not hit particularly hard, according to a battalion chief. Louise Berkshire's property on the 1000 block of Cobble Hill Court was an exception.

The storm toppled a 40-year-old spruce tree that stood less than 10 feet from the front-left corner of the home she has lived in for 52 years. The tree did not impact the structure.

"I heard a crack and I didn't know it was anything because the windows had so much rainwater running down them you couldn't see very much," said Berkshire, 86. "I had to go around and shut any windows I left open and I saw this big tree. I thought someone else's tree had fallen in my yard at first, but I guess the winds just gusted between mine and my neighbor's homes and continued on its way."

South Elgin residents also posted on social media images of trees down.

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