Evening storm knocks down large sign, fells trees, shuts off power

Wednesday night's storm felled this large sign at the Circle K filling station on South Murray Road in Rantoul. Village of Rantoul power employees work in the background.

RANTOUL — Wednesday night’s storm felled a mammoth sign pole at a filling station, sent trees and large limbs crashing down and left numerous homes without power in Rantoul.

Power restoration

Village of Rantoul electric department workers restore power following Wednesday night's storm.

The sign pole at Circle K, 220 S. Murray Road, damaged a power bank and overhead lines, cutting electricity to nearby McDonald’s and Subway restaurants. Many west-side customers were without power for a little more than an hour, Public Works Director Greg Hazel said.

Limb on house

A tree limb came down on this house in the 200 block of West Campbell in Rantoul during Wednesday night's storm.

The restaurants did not have electricity until mid-morning Thursday, Hazel said.

“We were able to isolate and do some switching and come back and do the pole repair,” Hazel said.

He said winds were registered at 45 mph at the Rantoul airport but said “it certainly seemed more intense on the north part of town, through that area.”

Scattered power outages were also reported on the northeast side of town.

“We had numerous trees and limbs snapped off all the way through town,” Hazel said.

Large tree branch ripped down

Wednesday night's storm ripped this limb from the trunk of a tree on East Avenue, Rantoul.

One limb came down on top of a car on West Campbell Avenue. About a block west of there, a large limb came down on a house.

“Rudzinski Park, a lot of limbs were scattered,” Hazel said. “We’re cleaning up on Campbell, Gerald, James, Flessner and Century, on Grove into the older part (of town).”

Hazel said Rantoul received about a half inch of rain, compared to about an inch on Tuesday night.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com

By THE NEWS-GAZETTE

Ameren Illinois crews are continuing to work to restore power to thousand of customers after a strong storm system moved through the area early Thursday morning.

The Ameren outage map shows that there are now nearly 7,300 customers in Champaign, Iroquois, Macon, Piatt, and Vermilion counties without power. Around 1,500 of those are in Champaign County and about 1,700 of those are in Iroquois County.

Champaign-Urbana had nearly 4,000 customers without electricity earlier Thursday morning.

Champaign County Emergency Management Coordinator John Dwyer says there have not been any reports of major damage in the area. Dwyer says there are some power lines down, as well as some trees and branches.

The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of 68-miles-per-hour at Willard Airport in Savoy around 1:50 a.m. Thursday.

Over in Piatt County, an emergency manager reported to the National Weather Service that there is extensive damage across Cisco. The damage included trees falling on houses, garages and cars. A more than 100-year-old tree was completely knocked over next to the fire station, and a grain bin that was lifted and moved into the roadway near the old F-S plant.

Meanwhile, all Oakwood schools are closed Thursday due to the power outages in that community, and Carle officials reported closures as a result of no power.

The Carle facility on Vermilion Street in Danville is closed, and Carle officials are contacting patients with appointments to reschedule. The Carle location at 311 W. Fairchild St. in Danville is open, however, and patients seeking urgent care should go to Carle Convenient Care Plus at that Fairchild Street location.

And U.S. 150 between Fithian and Muncie will be closed to all traffic for most of the day as crews are on scene repairing several power lines that were damaged by the storms. Use caution if you are traveling in the area and plan for an alternate route.

Also, Illinois 49 at 2000 North Vermillion County road is closed due to power lines down in that roadway.