Storm tears through area
BY ALYSSA MEIER
Washburn and Wilton residents woke up Friday to find electricity out and landlines inoperable after an overnight storm splintered apart power lines and littered much of McLean County with broken branches and debris.
Winds estimated between 60 and 85 miles per hour tore through the area early Friday morning, leaving the residents behind it in the dark for much of the rest of the day. Over a dozen power lines were broken off and toppled over in the storm, cutting off power to Washburn and Wilton residents until the late morning.
Krause’s Market secured freezers and refrigerators and hoped for power to turn on and keep perishable items at a safe temperature. Cenex’s backup generators kept the doors open and brought in crowds of people looking for a cold drink or a hot meal that was hard to come by without power.
Elsewhere in the area, windows were dark and workers were sent home to wait for electricity to start flowing again.
Residents drove around aimlessly through the area, carefully avoiding the large fallen branches and trees that had landed on lawns, roadways, cars or campers. Others wandered up the highway to see the shattered power lines laying in the ditch just south of Underwood.
North of Washburn, rural structures took the brunt of the damage, with several residents reporting barns that had been ripped apart or left without a roof.