6/4/2018 2:20:00 PM Strong storm takes out power for hours in county
A tree, blown down by Thursday’s storm on the courthouse Square in Robinson landed on an SUV owned by Mindy Erton. She reportedly parked closer Thursday due to rain in the forecast. (Tom Compton photo)
The northern tip of a powerful thunderstorm blew through Crawford County Thursday around noon, knocking down trees and knocking out power for several hours.
A burst of high-speed winds whipped through the area, snapping off utility poles, tree limbs and whole trees. In Oblong North Range Street was closed for a time due to power lines and tree limbs down across the road.
Oblong Mayor Teresa Fielder took to Facebook to keep residences updated on the situation.
"Just wanted to update that many residential areas are getting power restored now, hopefully all the Village will have power restored soon," said Fielder in her post. "We do still have some road closures, these due to limbs on power lines, or actual lines down. North Range should be open before long, and the 400-600 blocks of South Garfield will follow. I ask you continue to be cautious in these areas and don't take any chances."
Fire and police were out checking situations as they were reported to Crawford County Dispatch. In Robinson the Fire Department was called out to downed power lines behind Pulliam's Funeral Home and to other locations where trees or power lines were down. When it was learned there was no power to most of the lines and no immediate danger fire crews returned to the station.
Robinson City work crews were out on backhoes clearing roadways and putting up stop signs on Main Street as power was out to traffic lights. Crews continued to work through the afternoon and this morning cleaning up storm damage around the city.
On the courthouse Square Mindy Erton chose the wrong day to park close, as a large tree fell on her SUV parked on the east side of the square. Erton says she parked closer to the courthouse Thursday because she knew it was going to rain.
Crawford County Engineer Justin Childress said his crews were done cleaning up by around 6 p.m. Thursday. They had limbs down north of Oblong and in the Porterville and New Hebron areas as well as the tree on the courthouse square.
Robinson Police continued to respond to areas with downed power lines, blocking traffic until crews could clear the streets.
In Palestine work crews were out quickly after storm. Kathy Clark also took to Facebook to update Palestine residents. "Our village is quite a mess after the storm, with limbs down over many of the streets and sidewalks. There is a tree down on Catagoolie with a powerline involved," posted Clark. "When the line is cleared we will be able to haul debris to the dump. We don't know when that will be."
In Hutsonville residents reported several trees and limbs down with damage to the old slide at the park. In the Annapolis area a brush fire was reported and the Prairie-Licking Fire Department called out due to downed power lines.
Ameren Illinois is reporting power is nearly restored in local services areas after being out for several hours following Thursday's sever thunderstorm.
In the wake of severe thunderstorms that impacted the southern part of the Ameren Illinois service territory, the company activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate power restoration efforts.
As of 2 p.m., about 13,000 customers were without power, primarily in the following Counties - Clay, Crawford, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Marion, Perry, Randolph and Richland.
Ameren Illinois crews and contractors have been placed on alert in anticipation of more severe weather throughout the day. The EOC is staffed around-the-clock to coordinate service restoration, logistical support and communications.
"Our first priority is the safety of our crews and our customers," said Ron Pate, senior vice president of Operations and Technical Services, Ameren Illinois. "Restoration will focus on repairing large transmission lines, followed by the distribution lines and feeder circuits that bring power to neighborhoods and homes. We can assure our customers that we will work as quickly and safely as possible to get their power back on."
Norris Electric Co-op could not be reached as they are closed on Fridays.
Due to the power outage the Daily News was not able to publish Thursday, but is publishing both Thursday and Friday's papers today. Customers can expect delivery of both papers.
Outage safety reminders
The measures customers should take to prepare for a power outage or loss of natural gas service are similar to those needed to prepare for any emergency situation.
Call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 as soon as possible to report a downed line, natural gas odor, or an outage.
Residents are reminded to stay away from downed power lines because these lines may still be energized. During an outage, individuals are asked to stay indoors after sunset because downed lines may not be visible. Stay away from brush, shrubs and fallen trees that may be hiding these lines.
Detailed safety and outage information is available at outagemap.ameren.com.
Sign up for outage alerts and we will text or e-mail restoration updates after you report an outage. Learn more at Ameren.com/alerts.
If your electric service is interrupted, be sure to unplug or protect sensitive computer and electronic equipment with a high-quality surge protector.
When severe weather is predicted, make certain your cell phone is fully charged. Also, remember that cordless land line telephones will not function in the event of a power outage.
In addition to the safety and outage information available at outagemap.ameren.com, customers and media can receive timely updates on outage restoration by following the Ameren Illinois at twitter.com/AmerenIllinois and Facebook.com/AmerenIllinois.