Two consecutive CodeRed severe thunderstorm warnings between 7:45 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. foretold local residents of the damage to come on Friday. The warnings are issued to local residents who have signed up for the alerts via phone call or text.
By the time the strong front rolled through the county, there was damage spanning from Rosewood to Mechanicsburg.
Downed trees and fallen utility poles knocked out electricity to both DP&L and Pioneer Electric customers. As of 11:30 a.m. Friday there were still 262 DP&L and 121 Pioneer customers in Champaign County without service.
Areas reportedly affected included: a person trapped on state Route 29 near Millerstown Road with a tree across the vehicle; a utility pole pole down on state Route 4; a tree and a pole on fire on Old Troy Pike; a utility pole down across Idle Road that forced road closure; trees and power lines down on Reynolds Street in Urbana; lines and poles down on Nettle Creek Street in Millerstown; a tree down on a pickup truck on East County Line Road; lines across the roadway at Clark Road and state Route 296; the 300 block of West Church Street blocked in Urbana; Talbot Avenue all blocked and trees across the road at Runkle and Troy Hill in Mad River Township; and a tree downed into power lines in the 900 block of Miami Street.
Local law enforcement mobilized and township trustees were summoned as calls flooded into the Champaign Countywide 911 Dispatch Center. DP&L and Pioneer crews responded and continued working through the day to restore service. By 4 p.m. Friday, all but 39 DP&L customers with outages had been restored and 77 Pioneer customers were still offline.
City to offer curbside collection of storm damage
A press release issued by the city of Urbana on Friday states city crews spent the day clearing streets and assessing damage caused by the storm.
To aid residents in clearing their properties of storm damage, city officials have issued a citywide cleanup to begin on Monday in which crews will collect small- to medium-sized tree limbs placed by the curb. The street superintendent or his designer will determine whether or not a particular limb is too big for collection, the release states.
Large-sized storm damage will be left to the property owner to dispose of properly, and residents are reminded not to block the roadway with debris placed out for collection.
Residents taking part in the cleanup event are reminded that tree limbs 4 inches long or shorter must be bundled or placed in a yard waste bag, while tree limbs larger than 4 inches should be placed in a pile by the curb with all limbs facing the same direction.
“We appreciate your patience and cooperation as our crews work to clean the debris,” the release states.