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Storms Topple Trees And Power Lines In Elgin; 'It Just Got Ugly'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Powerful storms Thursday night left northwest suburban Elgin a mess, with several large trees ripped from the ground after powerful winds buffeted the area.

The storm left many people in the dark, and others forced to spend the day cleaning up. The good news is there were no reports of serious injuries.

The damage is pretty widespread in Elgin. Fire Chief Robb Cagann said he believes it will take at least a day or two to clean everything up.

On one block in Elgin, three cars were now buried underneath a large tree felled by the storm.

ComEd crews have been working all day to restore power to customers, after fallen trees knocked down several power lines.

Elizabeth Aguilera lost power early Thursday night.

"I hadn't seen it get this bad in a while," she said.

Her dad spent the day cleaning up the tree limbs and branches from their front yard. Her family lives at a house on the corner of Summitt Street and Porter Court.

"Out of nowhere, the wind came and you couldn't see anything at all, but it came on really soft. We thought it was going to be a quick 30-minute pass, but it just got ugly," she said.

Cagann said the storm was fast-moving, hitting much of the town. Between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursday, dispatchers received more than 300 emergency calls.

Residents reported downed trees and power lines in the middle of the street. Cagann urged people in Elgin to be extra careful about downed power lines.

"There's a misconception out there that, oftentimes if a power line is down and charged, it will be arcing and sparking. That's not necessarily true," he said. "You can have a downed power line fall on somebody's chain link fence in your back yard, and you come to the front, and you touch that fence, and you can be electrocuted."

Gregory Campos said power lines came crashing down in front of his property. Luckily, no one was hurt.

"It was dangerous, you know, wires on the floor," he said. "I feel much better right now, because the people working."

Power has been restored to more than 70% of ComEd customers in Elgin.


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