Heavy Crystal Lake Storm Damage West, South and North of Downtown

As we were about to leave for Knox Pool for McHenry Marlin Swim Team practice, our electricity went out.

No problem shortly before 1 AM when the tornado warning siren blared, but no lights at 7:30 AM with very little wind.

Go figure.

We saw lots of limbs down on South Shore Drive in Lakewood. Up to three inchers, I would estimate.

Two blocks away on Broadway Street, this tent had been blown down one door east of the creek.

As we drove down Dole Avenue, WBBM Radio reported that Route 176 was closed near Walkup. Of course, we were taking Walkup.

Fortunately, the Walkup part of the intersection was open, but the lanes east were not.

My trusty assistant photographer could not get the long lens to focus, so we can’t show you anything at 7:40 AM, but the view from the Williams intersection as we were returning to Crystal Lake about 9:30. I can’t tell whether both lanes were still closed or not.

As we drove back from McHenry on Route 31, Com Ed crews were fixing a downed power line at the bottom of the Terra Cotta valley, near the Fountains.

Trying to work our way over to Walkup to see what had happened (without parking and making through traffic more difficult) we saw downed tree limbs pretty much everywhere. The one you see is on the train track side of Gates Street.

Here’s a shot of 176 that I got down a side street.

Look at the size of the limbs that had been sawed up ready for pick up by the Crystal Lake Public Works Department. These are easily 6-inch limbs, maybe bigger.

How bad the situation on Route 176 was may be hinted at by this semi-truck load of new electric poles.

Caroline Street, whose northern end runs into the City Hall parking lot, was closed.

Center Street, the one just south of Woodstock Street, wasn’t. I got this photo of the other side of the northernly most block of Caroline Street from the Center Street intersection. Both sides of Caroline were closed.

I turned south on Elmhurst, a short street on which I twice lived. At the home where my sister Janet’s Crystal Lake Community High School Class of 1962 classmate Donna Larson lived in 1958, a crew was cleaning up storm damage.

At West Crystal Lake Avenue and Elmhurst, a city truck was filled with limbs.

We next headed to the neighborhood hit by the 1965 Palm Sunday tornado. As we approached Keith Avenue, one of the worst areas for damage 43 years ago, we saw this up rooted tree close to where Keith ends at Union Street.

My son said the picture showing the roots of the downed tree was the best of the three I took. I think this one shows the size of the tree better.

Let’s end this story with a more peaceful story.

Here’s a photo of Cress Creek. Or, is it Crystal Creek? Anyway, it’s the one that drains Crystal Lake. Note the height of the grass growing in the stream.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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