Deadly storm packs light punch in area
The southwest suburbs escaped the havoc and destruction that Sunday’s tornadoes wreaked on communities stretching from central Illinois to Frankfort, and residents realize how fortunate they were to elude the life-threatening damage that accompanied the storm.
Workers on Monday repaired awnings at the Worth Restaurant, 6948 W. 111th St., which were damaged by high winds that whipped through several of the communities in The Reporter’s coverage area.
Fortunately, the winds and rain caused only minimal damage to homes and businesses in the area.
“We’re very, very happy this wasn’t worse,” said Linda Dawson, who has been a waitress at the Worth Restaurant for 16 years. “It’s a big deal to us, but it’s not that big of a deal when you consider what could have happened. This wasn’t major.’’
Hickory Hills Village Clerk Dee Catizone echoed Dawson’s sentiments.
“We were pretty lucky,” Catizone said. “It sort of blew over. It was pretty quick.”
ComEd crews were working Monday to restore power to about 150 homes in the 9200 block of 88th Avenue, Catizone said. Those homes lost electricity on Sunday when a downed tree branch took out a power line, she said.
Palos Hills, Chicago Ridge and Evergreen Park weathered the storm without serious property damage or electrical outages, officials said.
However, power outages were again an issue in a section of Oak Lawn typically affected by storms.
“Twenty four hours after the incident, residents of Oak Lawn are still without power,” Trustee Alex Olejniczak said.
Outages affected more than 1,000 homes in an area roughly bounded by 87th and 101st streets between 52nd Avenue to Pulaski Road. Many of those homes had power restored by Sunday night, but an area near 93rd Street and Tully Avenue remained without electricity the following day, Olejniczak said.
Olejniczak, a long-time critic of ComEd, said a damaged wooden utility pole located behind Fox’s Pub, 9240 S. Cicero Ave., collapsed during the storm, causing the outage.
“It was weathered and warped through,” said Olejniczak, who added that markings indicated that the pole had not been inspected since 1983.
ComEd officials said the pole was not responsible for the outage, and added that it was inspected in 1997.
Olejniczak said homes in the 4600 block of 105th and 106th streets also were without power.
“It’s just a frustration,” he said.