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Thursday, August 23, 2007

How's Everyone Doing Out There?

What a day. When I arrived in Des Plaines at 8:45 AM Thursday, it was sunny, muggy, a typical August day. I took a late afternoon lunch and the sun was still shining, traffic was light, it was a good day for getting things done. And then it started. Rain, lightning, winds -- by the time I headed back to Des Plaines for the rest of my work day, I couldn't believe my eyes. The traffic backed up for miles as traffic lights from Northbrook to Rolling Meadows shut down - it had taken me about 30 minutes of driving to run an errand at lunchtime, it then took me two and a half hours to get back to the library! Trees were down at Maryville, on Center Street just south of the library, all over Miner/Dempster. A huge tangle of power lines and poles had fallen into a parking lot in Mt. Prospect. Water flooded streets, parking lots, intersections. When I got to the library, about an hour and a half after I'd expected to arrive, I found the doors locked and the building wisely deserted due to the severe weather. Nothing to do but grab my laptop from my office and head back down the road, my trip home taking an additional 1.5 hours.

What's happened to you this week, weather-wise? We know that some residents of Des Plaines are experiencing flooding at home, power outages, and trouble with trees being torn apart or uprooted. Were you stuck in the heart of the storm on Thursday afternoon and evening? Want to share your stories and misery with us? We're listening! If you have photos of the havoc or of efforts to make amends, drop us a line via the Comments section and we'll arrange for them to be posted on the blog. You can view one of our posters photos by clicking here and read her comments below - thank you for sending those, blog lass. Speaking from my personal perspective, this was the worst rain and thunderstorm I have ever experienced and all of us in the library send our concern to the residents of Des Plaines and its surrounding communities. So check in with us, let us know how you're doing and, if you'd like, take a moment to thank someone who helped you out - post anything you'd like here in our Comments section.

Of course, I'm sending this from home, many miles from Des Plaines, and I can't help but wonder if power there has been restored. Let's hope for a peaceful night with some relief from the storms - so get a good night's sleep and share your tales of woe with us tomorrow! And, be careful out there.


  1. I found the whole experience kind of surreal. I saw lots of people outside - in groups talking - walking - on cell phones - trees down everywhere ( why here and not there) the sound of generators - a group a women trying to move a large branch off a driveway saying "pull, pull , pull" - some houses dark and those across the street lit - emergency vehicles everywhere - So different from most nights with silence except for the cars passing on the main streets!

  2. "Surreal" is an excellent word for it - driving through the city in the heart of the storm Thursday night felt like a very dark sci-fi movie to me. The extremely heavy rain and winds, water pouring off of roofs, bubbling up out of sewers, lightning streaking the sky - and here and there, a person, either running like mad or stuck under a roof, waiting for a break. Driving back into Des Plaines (and through Mt. Prospect, also very badly damaged) on Friday morning was also startling, as the daylight and the sense of calm after the storm made the destruction even more plain. For everybody who is piling up sandbags, stuck without electricity, and trying to get out from under broken tree limbs and other damage - the rest of us send concern, hope, prayers. The latest weather report shows the rain may finally be at an end - let's hope they are right.

  3. I'm stunned by the damage done in only four hours. Everywhere I drive in DP, I see more and more damage. One thing that struck me is the number people that are running outdoor extension cords from one house into another....across the street! It's nice to see neighbors helping each other.

    You can see my photos of the rain and damage at:

  4. A 15 minute car trip from Rolling Meadows to Des Plaines took me an hour on Thursday. I drove through a massive flood to come home to no power.

    A car ride to the Mount Prospect train station (which usually takes 10 minutes) took an entire hour. All street lights were out and streets were flooded horribly.

    Our power was out from Thursday until Sunday afternoon. All of our food needed to be thrown out.

    I have never been more thankful for electricity (and internet) as I am right now!


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