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Residents 'very fortunate'

Tuesday night's tornado damaged some houses, the post office, but not much more

AT&T employees work on an uprooted tree and a metal shed blown into a power line on Wednesday, June 27, the day after a tornado touched down in Manhattan.
AT&T employees work on an uprooted tree and a metal shed blown into a power line on Wednesday, June 27, the day after a tornado touched down in Manhattan.

Longtime Manhattan, Ill., resident Bob Surdey still was out late Wednesday morning sweeping up some small branches and leaves from the front of his house after a tornado had touched down near the home Tuesday night.

He and his son were right down the road about 7 p.m., when the tornado made its way by North Street near the downtown area.

"I saw the black cloud," Surdey said.

Surdey said some of his friends were planning to play a softball game at a nearby park, but when they saw the storm, they took off.

A metal shed from someone's yard was blown into power lines near the 100 block of Trask Street, knocking out electricity to several houses, including Surdey's for a few hours Tuesday night.

"We had a bunch of branches and leaves — all kinds of stuff. We have a big pile," Surdey said.

Luckily for Surdey, his house was not damaged. Some of his neighbors were not as lucky.

Next to the power lines hit by the metal shed, a large tree was uprooted. AT&T employees still were working near the area late Wednesday morning.

Just down State Street, the local U.S. Post Office was closed because of the storm damage. A sign was taped to the door to "check back tomorrow (Thursday) after 8:30 a.m." Two nearby residents said the tornado damaged the post office's roof.

Next door, Cindy Kauch had an inspector looking at her house for damage. She was out of town for work Tuesday night, but her brother had sent her video of the funnel cloud going near her house.

When she saw the video, she thought, "Yeah, I need to get home."

She arrived to find branches all over and two medium-sized trees in her yard completely blown away. There also was some roof damage to her home and torn off gutters. Kauch said she was appreciative of village workers who helped clear her yard.

Overall, the village of Manhattan said it "fared very well" after the storm, according to a Facebook post. For residents such as Surdey and Kauch, they agreed they were "very fortunate" they averted the worst outcome.

"Nobody got hurt," Surdey said. "That's the big thing. Damage, you can take care of that. That's not going to be a big deal."

Weather Service: 1 tornado touched down in N. Illinois

MANHATTAN (AP) — The National Weather Service says at least one tornado touched down in northern Illinois as severe storms swept through the area Tuesday.

Weather Service meteorologist Eric Lenning says a storm survey conducted Wednesday determined that an EF-1 tornado with maximum winds of about 95 mph swept through the Will County community of Manhattan on Tuesday evening.

He says mostly trees were damaged along the storm's mile-long path of damage.

Lenning says an area southeast of Manhattan where residents had filmed a funnel cloud was also surveyed but there were no signs a touchdown there.

The survey crew also found no damage in an area of Kane County where residents said a tornado may have briefly touched down.

Tuesday's storms caused flooding along and north of Interstate 88.

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