Power should be back on in Sterling
Isolated winds felled trees, utility lines, caused gas station roof to collapse
STERLING – Power was restored just after 1 p.m. Sunday to a couple dozen customers still without power after a brief but powerful thunderstorm hit the north side of Sterling Saturday, a ComEd spokesman said.
The storm, which developed around 5:30 p.m., downed trees and power lines and caused the collapse of a convenience store roof. Wires went down on Ninth Street, Avenue E, East LeFevre and Freeport roads.
About 3,700 customers – half of Sterling proper – lost power, but most was restored by midnight, spokesman Paul Callighan said.
Sterling Fire Department received dozens of calls Saturday and on into Sunday, Lt. Mike Wheeler said.
“This little thing came out of nowhere,” Wheeler said.
The storm, which lasted less than an hour, had winds of 40 to 50 mph, Quad Cities meteorologist Brian Pierce said.
It seemed to be an isolated incident in the region, Pierce said. “You could count the number of storms on one hand and still have fingers left over.”
Although some storms also were reported in Carroll and Ogle counties, Rock Falls, Dixon, and Oregon seemed relatively untouched.
It appears the outflow boundary from the Carroll storm started a new storm in Whiteside County that intensified when it got to Sterling, Pierce said.
The storm mostly affected the northwest side of town, where residents reported toppled trees and power lines.
Part of the roof at Super Pantry, 2210 Locust St., collapsed. The wind, coupled with the weight of heating and air-conditioning units on the roof, may have caused the damage, Wheeler said.
The store will be closed during repairs, he said.
In addition, a utility pole fell across the entrance to Kroger, at 2301 Locust St., and two cars got “clobbered” when trees and limbs crashed down onto Second Avenue and 11th Street and Oak Grove and 19th Street, Wheeler said.
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