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DeKalb-owned tree falls on apartment building

Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 11:59 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, June 19, 2014 3:56 p.m. CDT
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(Danielle Guerra –
A large parkway tree rests against the 10-unit apartment complex at 108 Fisk Ave. in DeKalb on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Residents called the building owner, Jon Delano around 10:15 a.m. during the morning storm. Since it's a parkway tree, the city of DeKalb has ordered a crane to remove the tree from the side of the building.

DeKALB – Building owner Jon Delano suspected as early as five years ago that the tree that fell onto his 10-unit apartment building in DeKalb on Wednesday was dying.

A wind gust of about 50 mph caused the tree to fall onto the 10-unit apartment building about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at 108 Fisk Ave., causing damage to the secondary roof, which is a shingled surface that drops about eight feet down from the roof on top of the building.

"Fortunately, no one inside was hurt and it didn't break any windows, but it put some pretty nasty holes in the secondary roof," Delano said.

The tree was too large for workers to chip, so city officials called a Chicago company, which brought a crane to lift the tree off the building about 5 p.m. Roofers used plywood to cover the holes in the roof to keep water from leaking into the top apartment, Delano said.

Delano said the tree was partly hollow and had been dying. About five years ago, there was a tree in the same parkway that the city took down. At that time, Delano said he thought the tree that fell onto the apartment complex was dying, but it was not removed.

However, DeKalb Public Works Director T.J. Moore said the tree appeared to be healthy since it has almost all its leaves. The city regularly trims dead limbs off trees to prevent them from falling and causing damage.

"We're not aware we knew anything about that tree that looked like it had a problem," Moore said.

The tree fell during a storm that generated winds as high as 60 mph and lightning. There was a report of pea-sized hail about 10:20 a.m. in Amboy, the storm was not as serious in the DeKalb area, said Northern Illinois University meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste.

As the week continues, Sebenste said people should expect intermittent showers and thunderstorms with warm and humid temperatures. The National Weather Service forecasts a high temperature of 87 degrees today. High temperatures will hover in the 80s through Sunday, but there is a chance of thunderstorms every day through Sunday.

A cold front will come through Saturday to cool things off for next week, but that cold front is close enough to the DeKalb area that showers and thunderstorms could hit at any time this week, Sebenste said.

"Keep an eye to the sky as one or two storms could produce high winds," he said. "Lots of lightning will accompany the storms."

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