Do you remember February 19 last year? The record low for Chicago was broken on February 19, 2015 at 6:51 a.m. The previous record low was -7°F in 1936. The wind chill was a dangerous -27°F or -28°F from about 1:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
VIDEO: Fireground scene at destructive house fire on North Kaspar Avenue between Northwest Highway and Elm Street in sub-zero temperatures.
The forecast high for Thursday, February 19, 2015 was 4°F, expected to reach that temperature at about 3:00 p.m. We got our 4 lousy degrees from about 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Then a little before midnight, a fire broke out at a house in the block of 800 North Kaspar Avenue. Police and firefighters responded about 11:46 p.m. to a fire that would last several days because it was packed with burning or smoldering items inside the entire house. Firefighters couldn’t open the front door because of items stacked behind the door. Fire hydrants were frozen, and firefighters had to call public works to the scene to help with a good water supply.
Then 2016 brought an extra 58 degrees with a high of 62°F on February 19, 2016. However, the balmy February day was accompanied by 60 MPH winds. The winds brought down a few trees and a lot of branches, and caused firefighters to respond to multiple downed power lines to assess fire safety and keep scenes secure until ComEd could repair the lines. ComEd wasn’t even giving ETAs by late afternoon because they were so busy.
ComEd reported the high winds disrupted service to more than 258,000 customers. Power was restored to 202,000 customers by 10:00 PM Friday.
At Northwest Community Hospital, large wall panels from a penthouse mechanical room on top of the South Pavilion tower at the hospital peeled off in high winds. At least one of the panels shattered the large window of a hospital room on an upper floor of the nine-floor South Pavilion. Maintenance crews quickly boarded up the opening from the inside to prevent howling winds from blowing throughout the hospital floor. A total of four windows were damaged.
Patients near the opening were moved away from the opening, but no injuries were reported. Patients and staff were also warned to stay away from the windows in case any more windows were shattered. Some of the panels landed on the ground near the southeast corner of the hospital near the east driveway and Central Road.
Arlington Heights Fire Department Fire Chief Ken Koeppen ordered Central Road closed in both directions to prevent motorists and pedestrians from being hit by any falling debris. Police closed Central Road for the rest of the afternoon and evening until the winds diminished.
VIDEO: Damage to South Pavilion at NCH Healthcare after high winds blow wall panels off of mechanical penthouse on roof; Central Road closed.
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