Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Storm surge

During the past three years, we have seen tornadic weather in Chicago during the months of August and September. Back in September 2006, reports indicated a tornado was seen in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and that it was headed toward Uptown. The warning siren went off--some say for the only time in Chicago history--and we waited out the storm in the basement with neighbors. A tornado really never hit ground in Chicago, but still a scary experience. Ironically, we camped later that night at Blue Mounds State Park in Dane County, Wis.

Last year, a huge thunderstorm hit Chicago on an August afternoon. There was more than 12 inches of water on Lake Shore Drive in sections. Several of the willows that line Lincoln Park were taken out by straight line winds. There was severe tree and structural damage in Lakeview. I rode up on a sidewalk to clear the flooded Wilson Avenue viaduct.

Last night, the tornado siren by the neighborhood gas station sounded for the second time in three years. We scurried to the basement with a radio and Blackberry (love the radar on the Blackberry). There was a tornado warning for central Cook County, and a tornado was seen near Elmhurst. It was projected to sweep through Chicago, and ultimately Montrose Harbor. A sheet of wind blew through somewhere near 8:15, and we lost power for about an hour. At 8:30, the tornado warning expired. Reading reports today, I don't think a tornado ever touched ground. I do know that thousands were still without power today. Another wild August storm in Chicago.

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