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Storm rips through area


Cleanup continues



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June 23, 2010 | 09:06 AM
Just minutes after a severe thunderstorm rolled through the area Friday afternoon, Jackie Malone walked to her vehicle parked on Madison Street across from Central-Denison School.

When she saw her shiny black SUV, she placed her hands on her head. A huge tree had fallen, crushing the windshield and top of her car.

"Oh my God," she said. "What do I do? What do I do?"

A friend tried to console her.

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"At least nobody was in it," the friend said.

Another woman came out from a nearby building and told her the same thing. "Try to look for the positive."

"You have insurance," one of the women said.

Minutes later, Malone had regained her composure as the women stood under a yellow umbrella and stared at her crushed car. The rain, which had stopped for a while, started up again.

But, Malone hasn't been the only one trying to recover from damage caused by 60 to 70 mph winds and heavy rains that hit the entire area starting at about 3:30 p.m. on June 18.

In the city, several downed trees and other damage was reported. As of Tuesday, damage from the storm still could be seen on several properties throughout the area as the cleanup continues.

On South Street near Lake Shore Drive, a tree fell down and took a power line with it. Trees also were reported down on Wisconsin, Franklin and Geneva streets.

Lake Geneva Public Works Director Dan Winkler was tracking the storm on the Weather Channel. He said the front appeared to be about 100 miles wide and came across most of the southeastern part of the state, including Walworth County.

"The winds were very strong and it was like a monsoon to me," he said. "If you stepped into it and back out of it, you were soaked."

But, he said it was the strong winds that caused the tree damage. About a half dozen trees were significantly damaged in the city. Several others had branch damage as the area continues the cleanup.

"There are trees that are standing, but they were ripped in half," Winkler said. "The winds all day before the storm were light, but this had its own power and it came fast."

Severe storm sirens sounded following the warning, which came from the National Weather Service at about 3 p.m.

The storm started shortly after that and the calls to the police station rolled in around 3:45 p.m.

Along with several calls for trees down in the area, there also was a report of a possible funnel cloud over Oak Hill Cemetery at about 3:44 p.m.

From 3:46 to 3:52 p.m. four trees were reported down in several areas.

At 4:03, knee-high water was reported in the area of Center and Cook streets.

There also was more flooding reported at the intersection of Highway H and Cemetery Road.

At 4:54 and 4:56 p.m., trees were reported down on Geneva Street and Bonnie Brae Lane. Another tree was reported down on Sheridan Springs Road.

Lake Geneva Fire Department personnel responded to multiple calls for power lines down, exploding transformers, fire alarms activated by power failures and the tree that fell on Malone's SUV.

According to the Fire Department, the main incident involved lines down with a power pole knocked over on South Street, causing a major detour of traffic to protect the public from electrical hazards.

Despite the damage, no injuries were reported by either the Fire or Police departments.

Winkler said considering the strength of the storm, the community fared quite well. He said there appears to be no shoreline erosion and "no damage of consequence."

He said for those cleaning up branches and other debris, this week will become a brush collection opportunity.

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