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Washed out: Storms delay Corn Fest, start of prep football season

Corn Fest is scheduled for a laser show at 8:30 p.m. today.

Nature put on its own throughout Friday night.

A severe thunderstorm blanketed the area Friday night, with a torrential downpour, lightning and wind gusts topping 60 mph. The storm caused Corn Fest in downtown DeKalb to be delayed, along with several high school season-opening football games.

Corn Fest reopened at 8:30 Friday night, festival Chairwoman Lisa Angel said, with the carnival and soundstage. Back Country Roads and AudioDrive were scheduled to go on late Friday night for those who stayed in the downtown area.

People had to evacuate into the restaurants, stores and Egyptian Theatre nearby during the storm. 

“People are not leaving, that’s the great thing,” Angel said. 

As of 8:15 p.m. Friday, 2.45 inches of rain had fallen in DeKalb in just a few hours. Gilbert Sebenste, staff meteorologist at Northern Illinois University, said it’s not unusual to see as many flashes of lightning in a storm such as Friday night’s.

“It was very impressive,” Sebenste said. “When it gets this extremely hot and humid with a cold front moving it, storms can build up to a height of 60,000 feet. The higher they go and this is not an absolute rule but the higher they go, they can tend to produce more lightning.”

On a football field at Elgin St. Edward High School, Genoa-Kingston coach Travis Frederick was disappointed the Cogs had to reschedule their game for 7 p.m. tonight.

“I was talking to their coaches, too. The kids have been ready to play,” Frederick said. “They’ve been dying to play someone else besides themselves. You get all geeked up, and then we pulled the rug out from under them. It’s kind of deflating, but they’ll be fine [today].”

Sebenste said today’s weather should be nice, with lower humidity and a high of 85, while Sunday has the potential for more severe weather and a high of 90.

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