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Storms roll through McHenry County

National Weather Service issues flood advisory; three homes struck by lightning

Published: Monday, June 30, 2014 11:27 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 9:36 a.m. CDT
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Caption
(Kyle Grillot - kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
The fire protection district was dispatched around 3 a.m. 4016 Ned Drive, Crystal Lake, where a fire had started on the roof of the two-story house, apparently after a lightning strike, Battalion Chief Bob Kohley said. No one in the three-person family living in the house was injured. Because of the amount of damage from fire and smoke, the structure was deemed uninhabitable by the Crystal Lake Fire Department.
Caption
(Kyle Grillot - kgrillot@shawmedia.com )
Interior damage done by a fire in a Crystal Lake home is seen Monday morning. The fire protection district was dispatched around 3 a.m. to 4016 Ned Drive, where a fire had started on the roof of the two-story house, apparently after a lightning strike, Battalion Chief Bob Kohley said on scene. No one in the three person family living in the house was injured. Due to the amount of damage from fire and smoke, the structure was deemed uninhabitable by the Crystal Lake Fire Department.

McHenry County on Monday had a second barrage of storms during the evening hours, which followed a line of storms that went through during the early morning hours.

While Monday evening’s first line of storms moved quickly and with as much power as first expected, a second line of storms started rolling through the county at about 9 p.m., and led to a severe thunderstorm warning from the National Weather Service.

About 2 to 3 inches of rain was expected. As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, the rainfall figure for Algonquin came in closest at 1.84 inches.

Harvard received 1.17 inches of rain, the area northwest of Woodstock got 1 inch as did McHenry, Spring Grove got 0.89 inches, and Pistakee Highlands received 0.71 inches.

Weather service officials said more totals would come in throughout the morning.

Because of the amount of rain, the National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for the county.

Monday’s storms had lightning strikes on three houses, two of which caught fire. The roof of Scott and Jenn Debates’ Crystal Lake house caught fire at about 2 a.m., five years after they closed on the house.

For Scott, the real emergency came after the initial storm warning.

“All of a sudden the whole house shook,” he said. “[My] son got up [and] I got up.” Smelling something odd, he asked his wife, Jenn, if she had left a candle burning.

“She said, ‘No, I didn’t leave a candle lit,’ ” Scott said, standing on his front porch a couple hours later. “[I] came out to the front door, saw embers coming down, then saw the tree with the big split in it … [I] came out – house [was] on fire.”

He ran upstairs to gather his wife, his 23-year-old son and their dogs, Daisy and Duke. Once safely out of the house, which is almost surrounded by trees, they called for help and waited, watching the flames dance at the top of their home’s attic.

A fire in a house just outside of Wonder Lake left about $10,000 in damage, the Wonder Lake Fire Protection District said.

RELATED: Photos: Storm damages Crystal Lake home

About 12:55 a.m. Monday, firefighters responded to the 8100 block of Howe Road and found the roof of a two-story house on fire. Firefighters were able to keep the fire to the outside of the house, said firefighter Kyle Seegers.

Before the call, the residents were in the basement during the storm, preemptively taking safety ahead of tornado sirens going off, Seegers said. They felt and heard the lightning strike the house and went out to check.

A lightning strike at an Algonquin house left less than $5,000 in damage.

The Huntley Fire Protection District at 6:20 p.m. responded to 731 Tuscany Drive in Algonquin after an apparent bolt of lightning struck the house, Lt. Ken Madziarek said.

The lightning strike hit the peak of the roof of the two-story house, and blew out some of the interior walls of the closet in a bedroom, Madziarek said.

A small hole was left in the exterior of the house.

However, there was no fire after the strike, and no one was hurt, Madziarek said. During the severe weather, a funnel cloud was spotted about 2 a.m. near Route 176 and Route 14 outside of Crystal Lake.

Dave Christensen, director of Emergency Management for McHenry County said he didn’t believe the funnel cloud touched the ground.

The storm knocked down trees along Route 176 between Route 14 and Briarwood Road in Crystal Lake, but did not block any roads.

According to a report from the National Weather Service, crops also were matted down in the same area.

During the early morning hours Monday, there was a tornado warning in effect for about 40 minutes. However, the sirens in Woodstock were not activated.

Police Chief Robert Lowen, who received three to four calls asking about the sirens, said the city didn’t receive reports from its police officers, from fire district personnel, or from weather spotters about funnel clouds.

He added the sirens are intended to warn people who are outside to seek shelter. People who are inside of houses or businesses should follow updates on the radio, TV, Internet or phones, Lowen said.

“In Woodstock we had one little power outage of less than a minute, there were no reports of storm damage to the public works department, and there was one situation of a power line down,” Lowen said.

After the stormy nights, the weather is expected to be better for the rest of the week, including on the Fourth of July.

There is a 20 percent chance of rain Tuesday with a high of 80 degrees.

On Wednesday there is a 30 percent of chance of rain with a high of 71 degrees.

The National Weather Service is predicting it will be mostly sunny Thursday with a high of 74 degrees. On Independence Day, the high will be 77 degrees and sunny, the weather service said.

• Reporter Emily Coleman contributed to this report.

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