High winds leave trail of damage

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  • Jim Franz/Beloit Daily News A tree landed on a house in the 800 block of Blackhawk Boulevard in South Beloit Wednesday after a storm with strong winds moved through the Stateline Area.

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    Clint Wolf/Beloit Daily NewsA tree was uprooted and it landed on this house in the 800 block of Blackhawk Boulevard in South Beloit Wednesday. A storm that brought strong winds and hail caused damage to trees and homes in the Stateline Area.

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    Clint Wolf/Beloit Daily NewsTraffic had to be diverted around a fallen tree in the 1400 block of Blackhawk Boulevard in South Beloit Wednesday night. A storm brought strong winds and hail to the Stateline Area, causing plenty of damage.

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    Jim Franz/Beloit Daily NewsA strong storm moved through the Stateline Area Wednesday causing damage.

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    Austin Montgomery/Beloit Daily News Crews from Top Die Casting Company remove damaged portions of roofing just south of the main company building near Rockton Road. Staff on site said the damage was to portions of the company's newest building addition, which had been under construction for around two months. Storms ripped through the Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin areas Wednesday evening, downing powerlines and damaging roofs.

  • Jim Franz/Beloit Daily News A tree landed on a house in the 800 block of Blackhawk Boulevard in South Beloit Wednesday after a storm with strong winds moved through the Stateline Area.

  • 1

    Clint Wolf/Beloit Daily NewsA tree was uprooted and it landed on this house in the 800 block of Blackhawk Boulevard in South Beloit Wednesday. A storm that brought strong winds and hail caused damage to trees and homes in the Stateline Area.

  • 2

    Clint Wolf/Beloit Daily NewsTraffic had to be diverted around a fallen tree in the 1400 block of Blackhawk Boulevard in South Beloit Wednesday night. A storm brought strong winds and hail to the Stateline Area, causing plenty of damage.

  • 3

    Jim Franz/Beloit Daily NewsA strong storm moved through the Stateline Area Wednesday causing damage.

  • 4

    Austin Montgomery/Beloit Daily News Crews from Top Die Casting Company remove damaged portions of roofing just south of the main company building near Rockton Road. Staff on site said the damage was to portions of the company's newest building addition, which had been under construction for around two months. Storms ripped through the Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin areas Wednesday evening, downing powerlines and damaging roofs.

BELOIT - Strong winds knocked down trees and caused some power outages across the Stateline Area Wednesday evening.

A tree was uprooted and fell on a house in the 800 block of Blackhawk Boulevard in South Beloit.

Just a few blocks to the south, another tree in the 1400 block of Blackhawk Boulevard was down and blocked the right southbound lane. Police and fire crews were on the scene to direct traffic and assess the situation.

In Janesville, police, fire and Department of Public Works crews responded to about 80 calls reporting hazardous conditions after the storm.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to 53 calls for service related to storm damage, including felled power lines, roof damage and damaged trees, according to Commander Troy Knudson.

A barn was destroyed near Avalon on US-14 and South Scharine Road, he added.

Beloit Department of Public Works Streets Supervisor Bruce Slagoski said crews began working at 7 p.m. Wednesday to address several reports of trees and limbs covering roadways.

"We had a total 24 trees in the street overnight," Slagoski said. "We got all the roads opened up at 12:30 a.m. They went home and we had crews started working on trees at 7 a.m. this morning."

Despite the weather, Slagoski said many people pitched in to help. Beloit police officers were picking up some of the smaller limbs and putting them on the terrace. One officer helped Slagoski hook up a chain to the tree so he could pull it out of the road with his truck. Residents were also cutting trees and helping to get roads open, he said.

In the 1100 block of Hackett Street, Slagoski said there was a tree which split and covered the road. Crews were still working on taking the tree down this morning.

On Hinsdale Avenue, a tree covered the road, and on Porter Avenue a 30 foot tree snapped off in the middle. A tree also was down at Riverside Drive and Henry Avenue.

"We got them either cleaned up or pushed off to the side of street so we could open up traffic," Slagoski said.

On Thursday morning, he said crews were working with tree chippers in the streets and seasonal workers were picking up branches in the street.

"There's a lot of shredded trees. Debris is everywhere. It's going to take us a couple days to cover the whole city to get all of those small limbs," Slagoski said. "The trees that came down between last night and this morning should be cleared up today."

Slagoski encouraged people to drive slowly when they see crews working.

In Winnebago County, Illinois, emergency crews responded to multiple calls of fallen trees and power lines, with varying reports of roof damage from Rockford to Rockton.

South Beloit Fire Chief Ken Morse handled 25 emergency responses during the storm. Two semi trucks had blown over and a tree chunk fell on a man resulting in a broken leg on Fairway Drive.

Morse said the area with the most damage was an area from South Beloit High School to the American Legion. He said the area with the most damage was about a quarter mile wide and a mile long including Blackhawk Boulevard, Hayes Avenue, Roscoe Avenue, Fairview Avenue, Shaw Street and other connecting Streets.

"We had three structures with trees on them, and numerous trees down," Morse said.

Rockton Fire Department Lt. Tim Free said the department responded to 11 calls between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The department divided its service area up into three sections, with crews setting up operations in three portions of the county.

The worst portions damaged included the intersection of Freeport Road and Meridian Road after trees and power lines fell onto the roadway, closing vehicle access for nearly four hours, Free said.

The second most damaged included portions of Hononegah Road in Rockton after telecommunication polls had snapped, along with trees falling on the road. Fire crews worked with Rockton police and Winnebago County sheriff's deputies to clear the debris.

"That's something we typically don't get involved in, but as soon as we got that area open again, we were able to head to other calls," Free said. "This storm was moving at a really high rate of speed...it's the most damage I've seen in the area."

Free has been a member of the department for nearly six years.

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