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Violent storms spare much of DeKalb County

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 8:22 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 8:23 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Danielle Guerra - dguerra@shawmedia.com)
DeKalb County dispatcher Sgt. Tim Duda keeps the radar on the screen at the county's communication center. A tornado watch was active throughout DeKalb County on Monday evening.

A band of violent storms that produced torrential rains and powerful wind gusts across the Chicago area late Monday spared much of DeKalb County.

The city of DeKalb received more than 1.5 inches of rain overnight, according to the National Weather Service in Chicago. Almost an inch of that rain fell over a 20-minute span, with wind gusts estimated at more than 50 mph.

"Compared to what we were preparing ourselves for, we fared very well," DeKalb Public Works Director T.J. Moore said. "There were lots of individual things, but nothing significant."

Utility poles were damaged near Sycamore and Cortland, said Gary Dumdie, assistant chief with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. There was also a transformer fire near the intersection of Route 23 and Perry Road south of DeKalb.

Other storm damage included a tree catching fire near Somonauk and Harter roads outside of Cortland, as well as a garage fire that may have started due to a lightning strike near Genoa, Dumdie said.

The sheriff's department also received reports of water on the roadway along Route 64 in Malta, Rich and Schafer Roads in Malta, and Five Points and Old State roads near Sycamore.

"All that [water] has receded now," Dumdie said. "I thought we fared pretty well for how the storms looked coming in."

The storms left hundreds of ComEd customers in DeKalb County without power at different times, including residents in Malta and Shabbona.

As of 7 a.m., utility crews had restored power to more than 165,000 customers within the ComEd service area. There were still more than 205,700 customers without power across the Chicago region.

Of that, 15,100 were in ComEd's west region, but very few were still without power in the county.

The original forecast of a derecho — a long line of storms that produces continuous heavy rains, significant winds and tornado-like conditions — faded as the storm reached the area.

"The first line of storms died out as they reached us, and the second line ran into cooler air and dissipated," said Gilbert Sebenste, meteorologist at Northern Illinois Univeristy. "DeKalb got lucky. The initial forecast looked like it was going to hit us head-on with 100 mph winds. We were very fortunate it wasn't much worse."

Tuesday's weather will be milder with a high of 79 degrees and a slight chance of showers.

Temperatures will barely reach 70 degrees on Wednesday, and there is a high of 77 degrees on Thursday, Sebenste said. The forecast for the Fourth of July is a high of 80 degrees and low humidity.

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