NWS: No repeat today of Thursday’s violent storm

By Pantagraph staff

BLOOMINGTON — Emergency responders reported Friday morning that there were no one was injured after Thursday’s late afternoon storm that damaged multiple commercial buildings and houses, knocked down trees and left a lot of clean-up in its wake on Bloomington’s far west side.

Curtis Hawk, director of the McLean County Emergency Management Agency, said emergency personnel were going door-to-door Friday morning putting together a dollar estimate of the damage. In doing so, they also found no one was injured. He added that responders do not expect to find anyone injured as their canvass continues.

The “closest we had to any injuries,” said Hawk, was the result of a car accident that occurred when the high wind carried some small box trailers in the parking lot of the Farm and Fleet into the street, causing a vehicle to crash. Hawk said the driver wasn’t seriously injured and declined treatment.

Hawk said damage was caused by staight-line winds that the National Weather Service said Friday ranged from 80 to 90 mph.

American Red Cross of the Heartland had volunteers on call Friday to provide further assistance, as needed, to people whose homes were damaged in Thursday’s storm, said spokesman Scott Vogel.

On Thursday night, eight volunteers provided food and drinks for 100 emergency workers who responded to the storm damage and volunteers also assisted a family whose mobile home was struck by a tree, Vogel said. Family members were able to retrieve their clothes, but Red Cross provided food and a hotel stay overnight Thursday.

“We will continue to work with the family,” said Vogel, adding that there were no Red Cross volunteers at the scene Friday. “But we have volunteers on call and they will respond if needed,” he said.

In assessing the damage, Hawk said responders were working along the communities west of Bloomington along Illinois 9 up to Covell Road. He said about 100 homes sustained some damage, but only a few were heavily damaged and none were “unhabitable.”

Hawk’s agency is coordinating its efforts with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

The violent storm was the result of cold air from Canada settling in at high altitudes to produce the large hailstones that cracked some windshields Thursday, and the wall of high winds that caused all the damage.

More than an inch of rain was reported in parts of McLean County.

But the weather service does not expect a repeat Friday of those conditions

The forecast calls for partly sunny day — and another departure from the intense heat of recent weeks. The high temperature on Friday should be around 75 degrees, said the weather service. It will be about the same on Saturday and Sunday, but a bit warmer, with a high in the lower 80s both days.

Higher temperatures — near 90 degrees — are not expected in the region until the middle of next week.

Clean-up on Friday also is being made somewhat easier by the fact that there are no power outages reported in the area.

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