Trees, power lines down all over the city of Ottawa
Kathy Stout knew something was up. A friend had tipped her off there was a serious storm coming with dangerous wind, so she went outside to the patio of her Guion Street home on Ottawa's West Side to bring in her rocking chair.
When she opened the door, the storm was already there.
Stout could barely see her front yard from all the debris swept by winds reaching roughly 75 miles per hour in the Ottawa area, so she ducked back in and took shelter with her spouse, but not before the storm snapped off a neighbor’s tree that’s seven feet around at the base and roughly 40 feet high, dumping virtually all of the branches onto the roof of her home.
Her son-in-law, Pete Sutton, and grandson-in-law, Lane Barbier, were on top of the house hours after the storm had passed, cutting away moveable branches and limbs, but the remainder will stay in place until an insurance adjuster views it. She said they plan to call in a tree removal professional to take down the thicker parts of the tree still on the house.
“I’ve wanted this tree down for a couple of years now, but I didn’t really want it down like this,” Stout said with a laugh. “I heard there were supposed to be winds coming at about 100 mph, but there was no siren, there was no nothing.
“We’re hoping there’s no roof damage, but we don’t know … At least, roofs and shingles can be replaced. As long as no one was hurt, we’ll be OK.”
The storm also claimed a large, old tree on the 700 block of West Jefferson Street, breaking off its somewhat hollow thick trunk and dumping in a lot next door to the house belonging to Juan Gonzalez. He and his nephew, Jose Gonzalez, were each using chainsaws to cut up the thick fallen branches, while other relatives helped drag the heavily-leaved smaller ones toward the street, out of the way.
“That tree was about to go anyway,” said Jose Gonzalez. “We’re lucky the tree fell this way and not the other, toward the house … The other good news is that we’ll have plenty of firewood for the summer. You have to enjoy that.”
On Ottawa’s South Side, Dave Dutton was at home on the 400 block of Jeremiah and watched several large branches from a tree not only in his yard, but also those in his neighbors’ yards, come tumbling down in the high winds. On the block where the houses are in such close proximity, it was all about neighbor helping neighbor.
“Everybody’s pitching in,” said Dutton. “That’s what good neighbors do.”
Helping to clear the massive branches from his and the two houses next door to the east, belonging to Fred Jovanovic and Brandon Sagerbruch, were several friends of Sagerbruch’s who are, members of the Oswego Fire Department, who came down just to help with the clearing.
“That and our swing set fell down, that was about it. We were lucky,” said Sagerbruch, who said their wives were home when the storm hit, but no one was injured. “Everything seems to be intact. No shingles or siding went flying anywhere, so we’re good.”
“You couldn’t believe it when you got to the top of the hill,” said Jovanovic, who was driving back from an appointment in Minooka when the storm passed through the area. “All the older trees got it, maybe 25-30 years old. I got a lot of the neighbor's branches because the wind was going this way … But we’re all working together to get through this.”