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Microburst Damaged Northwest Suburbs from Elgin to Elk Grove and Itasca Friday Evening, July 21, 2017

Mon July 24 2017 1:11 pm
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Talbot’s Mill, Elk Grove Village Storm Damage Friday July 21, 2017

Strong winds from a microburst downed trees, damage roofs and damaged power lines from Elgin to Schaumburg, to Hoffman Estates and to Elk Grove Village and Itasca on Friday July 21, 2017 just before 5:00 p.m.

About 90,000 ComEd customers were without power, but the number of customers without power was reduced to 5,600 by Saturday night, including about 1,700 customers in Elgin and 950 in Itasca. In Itasca, over 1200 customers were without power Saturday morning.



During July 19-23, the NWS Chicago office issued 27 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, 2 Tornado Warnings, 2 Large Flash Flood Warnings, numerous Flood Advisories, and 6 Special Marine Warnings for southern Lake Michigan waters.

According to the National Weather Service, July 2017 has been an active month of weather as a whole. From July 6-23, 2017, the NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has had at least part of the area under some form of severe weather risk 14 of the 18 days (78%) in their Day 1 Outlook. Eleven of those days (61%) were a Slight Risk (Cat 2) or higher.

The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) had placed a zone of enhanced risk directly over the stricken area for Friday evening, July 21, 2017.

After the storm hit, at least 450 crews ComEd crews were out working Friday night through Saturday. Also, after the worst of the storm was over about 2:00 a.m. Saturday — and long after the 5:00 p.m. Friday microburst — a particularly intense, bright and isolated lightning strike hit a transformer and caused a transformer fire in the area of Sunset Drive and Douglas Avenue in Arlington Heights. The isolated thunder was especially loud, and rumbled for a prolonged period. Seconds later, the Arlington Heights Fire Department was called out for help. In the neighborhood, about 70 ComEd customers were without power, and power wasn’t restored until about 12:12 p.m. Saturday. Arlington Heights, the neighboring suburb to the north of Elk Grove Village, did not experience the damage that occurred in Elk Grove Village. The Elk Grove Village damage was concentrated near Devon Avenue and Park Boulevard — including Hamilton Lakes to the south in Itasca, and Talbot’s Mill in Elk Grove Village to the north. Rainfall in Arlington Heights was measured 1.45″ while Elk Grove reported 1.57″ and Elgin 2.83″ and Naperville 2.16″.

Precipitation Ending Saturday July 22, 2017 8:00 AM>Precipitation Ending Saturday July 22, 2017 8:00 AM (NWS Graphic).

A lightning strike just before 10:00 p.m. Friday, July 21, 2017 also caused a house fire that left a home uninhabitable in the block of 29W200 Andermann Drive in unincorporated Will County.

Naperville Fire Department responded at 9:53 p.m. Friday to a report of a house fire from a resident. Upon arrival, Naperville Fire Department reported smoke and flames showing from the roof of the two-story home. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters used about 2,000 feet of hose to connect several fire engines from a hydrant to the scene, in order to extinguish the house fire. The neighborhood did not have fire hydrants.

NWS Gibson Ridge MicroburstImage created by Gibson Ridge GR2Analyst Software/NWS showing microburst Friday, July 21, 2017.

In Elgin the microburst and associated rain (estimated 2 inches plus in Elgin) caused flooding and closed Wing Park on the city’s near west side. Elgin public works crews received more than 350 calls for service, and estimated 5,000 ComEd customers were without power early Saturday. ComEd set up facilities in front of the Elgin Police Department that included a cooling bus and water for people needing to get out of the heat.

The microburst also hit parts of the Timbercrest and Timbercrest Woods subdivisions in Schaumburg. Hail piled up on the ground, while ripping vegetation and damaging roofs and window screens. Much of the hail appeared sharp and jagged.

In Itasca, winds snapped middle-sized trees mid-trunk, uprooted large trees, and snapped large trees near the crotch of the trees. On Irving Park Road west of Princeton a tangled mess of downed power lines was mixed up with damage trees and damage utility poles. Itasca police had to close westbound Irving Park Road just west of Princeton and divert traffic through a neighborhood to the north of Irving Park Road.

Itasca had multiple reports of wires down, arcing power lines, uprooted trees, trees into houses, flooding, and an area-wide power outage.

ComEd also set up facilities in front of Itasca’s police station, including phone charging stations. Due to the area-wide power outage, high humidity and high temperatures, the American Red Cross was also contacted to respond to the Village Hall, located at 550 W. Irving Park Rd. The Village of Itasca also requested light towers from fire departments from Westmont, Pleasant View and Elmhurst. The light towers were strategically placed throughout the village to illuminate intersections.

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VIDEO: Itasca Storm Damage Friday July 21, 2017.


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