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Storm barrels through Lost Lake

Trees downed, homes damaged

Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:03 p.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Chris Reed of TimberMen Tree tosses a chunk of wood into the back of a pickup truck Monday afternoon while working at Lost Lake. The service still had plenty of work ahead of them because of the powerful weekend storm.
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Christina Princivalli lugs wood to a waiting pickup truck Monday afternoon while working for TimberMen Tree Service. The service was out in full force cleaning up Lost Lake after a powerful storm rolled through the area Saturday night.
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Jeff Winterland fells a tree at Lost Lake on Monday afternoon that was damaged in a storm Saturday night.
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Jeff Winterland uses an excavator to clear trees that that blew over or cracked at Lost Lake.

LOST LAKE – The National Weather Service can’t confirm it, but residents of Lost Lake say a storm that barrelled through their community Saturday night left evidence that suggested a tornado.

Community members and volunteers took to the streets Sunday to clear the roads, Sue Hill, president of the Lost Lake Property Owners Association, said Monday.

“People came out with chainsaws saying, ‘Give me a job. What can I do?’ and went to work,” she said. “They went around the community and helped out wherever they could. Our main goal was to get all the roads clear, because there were so many trees down blocking the roads, so we did accomplish that yesterday.”

“The blessing of the whole thing is that there were very few damaged houses. My house got hit, and it’s just superficial; it can be fixed. Based on the winds and the trees that came down, I think we’re very lucky.”

Lost Lake is near Dixon, just over the Lee County border in Ogle County.

One resident, John Laschinski, is a National Weather Service-trained weather spotter.

To him, the storm showed a lot of tornado characteristics.

“On the south end of the damage, the trees are lying one way, and on the north end, they’re the opposite way – like rotation,” he said. “It’s hit and miss, like a tornado, and it had that classic freight train sound, as well.”

Susan Steffens, the office manager at Lost Lake Utility District, also said the damage reminded her of a tornado.

“It almost looks like a straight line, how it hit,” she said. “If you drive down St. Francis, it was just like a tornado event.”

About 80 trees were downed at Lost Nation Golf Club, although the club was open Monday, thanks to volunteers who came out Sunday to help clean up.

“We lost a lot of trees,” Hill said. “... We’re taking it one step at a time.”

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