Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

September 3, 2013

High winds knock down buildings, limbs

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

STEWARDSON — The Big Bad Wolf paid a Saturday night visit to Twila Kessler's place about a mile south of Stewardson.

The "wolf," which had taken the form of rainy skies and high winds, didn't touch Kessler's brick home, but some of the less sturdy outbuildings didn't fare as well.

Kessler woke up Sunday morning to find a flattened Quonset hut that split an auger in half, grain bins knocked off their concrete moorings, and debris blown into nearby fields. By Monday morning, the cleanup had begun, with a flatbed truck piled high with the remains of one of the metal grain bins.

Kessler said the storm began about 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

"It started raining real hard and then we started hearing the wind," she said. "The electricity went out, and we went down to the basement."

Kessler said she knew something was happening outside.

"We heard a couple of pops," she said. Those pops turned out to be the Quonset hut collapsing and at least one grain bin completely torn off its concrete moorings.

Kessler was using the bin for household storage. There was also minor damage to vehicles parked in front of the bin, she said.

The Quonset hut contained an auger that was totaled and a tilling tool with less certain damage.

Kessler said the property was insured, but she didn't have a damage estimate Monday morning. She said the damage could have been much worse.

"We're so thankful it didn't hit the house or the main garage," she said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Miller said he didn't have any wind estimates for the immediate area of the Kessler home, but he said 50 mile-per-hour gusts were recorded in Altamont Saturday.

Miller said the pattern began as a series of isolated storms from the southwest. But by Saturday night, he said, that series had turned into a line of storms extending southwest to northeast through Effingham County.

Highest wind speeds were 60 to 70 miles per hour gusts in southern Vermilion and northern Edgar counties. No tornadoes were reported as a result of Saturday's storm, but the straight-line winds caused a number of tree limbs to break away from their trunk and litter numerous yards throughout the region.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.