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Aug
29

A tornado or not?

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Two storms, only hours apart, worked their way through Villa Park, IL on Thursday, Aug. 23, destroying thousands of village trees, and leaving many residents without electricity due to downed power lines.

The first storm was so powerful, and so damaging, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich designated DuPage County a state disaster area. I have heard conflicting reports as to what the strom was. These reports range from a storm with a bunch of microbursts to a low grade tornado. Nobody seems to be able to get the story straight. Doesnt really matter, the damage is done. Hell, even the O’Hare tower was cleared for the safety of the controllers. SO you know it was bad.

I lost power for 4 days. I also took about 6 inches of water in my basement due to the power failure killing the sump pumps and the battery backup not working like it should have. I lost parts of the big tree in my backyard, and my landscaper, Nick Renello (630-532-9301), was on top of it the next morning, removing all of the debris from the yard. By the way, Nick came up with the inexpensive solution to my back yard flooding problems I mentioned last year (See This post).

“It looks like a war zone” said one of my closest friends and neighbors when he arrived. Trees were uprooted and broken, very few streets could be negotiated in my neighborhood since they were blocked by fallen trees. The last estimate was about 1500 trees down in our town.

I have to give credit though. The village was on top of things. Our trustees were out talking with residents. I spent several hours with Trustee Dave Hegland at the Funky Java coffee shop on Friday, which had both power and internet access, thus giving me a lifeline to my websites. Dave was full of alot of information and made me feel a little more in tune with what was happening. Our Public works deparment worked through the night on Thursday clearing streets so you could get from place to place, our Police department was out almost immediately helping with traffic, and our Fire department spent several days helping homeowners do many things you wouldnt think of, such as refilling oxygen bottles for VP residents that were without power.  I commend all of them. As I told Bob Neimann, our Village Manager, I couldnt say I was satisfied with the Village’s performance, instead, I had to say that I was quite impressed.

ComEd did a great job as well, suprisingly. They called in many many crews from other states and had our power restored much faster then I could have hoped. Even Comcast had Cable back up pretty quick.

I saw many of our residents out helping others. Extension cords could be seen running across streets to share power from generators, and I saw alot of neighbors were helping other neighbors with tree removal. I love it. This is what a neighborhood is suppose to be.

Here are a few photos I took the night of the storm. (click the image to see it full size)

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