Roof of Arlington Heights Park District bucket truck crushed by large tree at Klehm Park. YouTube Tips ⓘ
An Arlington Heights Park District crew that was working at Klehm Park at the southeast corner of Wilshire Lane and Hawthorne Street prior to a severe storm on Monday, August 29, 2022 escaped injury when a tree collapsed in the park due to high winds. Several trees were damaged in Arlington Heights and Chicagoland when severe thunderstorms with high winds of around 60 MPH hit the area.
High winds hit Arlington Heights about 12:20 p.m. Monday, causing a large tree to split and fall on an Arlington Heights Park District bucket truck that was parked on the outdoor basketball court at Klehm Park. Neighbor Mark Barringer said the tree fell fast when winds kicked up, but he didn’t realize the truck was hit by a large part of the tree. The storm was a little unusual because there wasn’t much lightning or thunder at the beginning of the storm. There was rain first, and then high winds. Then about 10 minutes later there was lightning and thunder.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued by the National Weather Service at about 10:10 a.m. Monday, just over two hours before the high winds hit. Currently it is unknown why the crew and the dark green park district truck were in a risky position as the storm hit, or whether they were alerted properly. There was also plenty of warning from dark clouds that were approaching from the west.
After the large tree hit the truck, firefighter/paramedics were not dispatched to the scene, and Mark Barringer said he did not see anyone injured. He saw the Arlington Heights Park District crew taping off a safety area around the tree and around the park where the damage and hazards occurred.
The roof of the truck was collapsed — especially on the passenger side — by the weight of the falling tree. The front right fender was also damaged, and a basketball hoop and post were also damaged by the fallen tree.
Most of the damage in Arlington Heights appeared to be on either side of Euclid Avenue, east of Arlington Heights Road. A large tree was severed across the truck by the force of high winds at the southeast corner of Douglas Avenue and St James Street near Recreation Park. However, a large tree also split on Ridge Avenue just north of Miner Street near the Arlington Heights public works facility and west of downtown Arlington Heights.
A person at Klehm Park on Tuesday said there was a person in the truck’s bucket at the rear of the truck when the tree hit the front of the truck, but this was not confirmed as officials have not been contacted by CARDINAL NEWS. The damaged tree and another tree at Klehm Park were removed by a private contractor Clean Cut Tree Service on Tuesday, August 30, 2022.
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WGN’s Andrea Medina provides a recap of the damages wrought by storms in Chicago Monday afternoon. YouTube Tips ⓘ