Pekin residents clean up yards after Saturday’s severe storms

Local News

PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — Early morning storms ripped through Central Illinois and caused damage to trees and powerlines, leaving thousands across the area without power.

Residents in Pekin woke up Saturday morning to trees, big and small in their front and backyards as a result of the storms that ripped through Tazewell County with winds up to 70-80 mph.

Cinda Richardson who lives in Pekin said a large tree fell right in front of her, in her backyard. She said it’s been there for years.

“I was checking on a little air conditioning window unit that I thought the wind was going to suck out and I look out the window and that’s when it went. It just toppled right over like someone pushed it,” Richardson said.

Richardson and others in the Mayflower Estate Subdivision experienced high winds and heavy rain causing tree damage in multiple neighborhoods throughout Tazewell County.

“The back area behind all the houses is sort of like a wind tunnel because we have fields on the other side. Once the wind gets going it gets real loud,” Richardson said.

Richardson said it was nothing like she’s ever seen, but it was a close call.

“Earlier in the year, we had a portion of it fall on the house, so ’tis the best scenario,” Richardson said.

Across the street, multiple neighbors cleaned up several trees in their front yards. John Watson said two trees fell, but he didn’t hear it through the wind.

“It broke off at the root right at ground level, so it must have made a large pop,” Watson said.

Watson said one large tree fell on the roof of his garage and caused very minor damage, but it could have been a lot worse.

“Some minor damage, I’ve heard people have worse problems, so lots to be thankful for. Outback where the traffic was blocked, half a dozen neighbors helped me move that out of the way,” Watson said.

Watson said he’s trimming and cleaning up one of the trees but is leaving the larger one to the professionals.

“I think this Linden tree here I’m going use a little bit of my stimulus money and hire some professionals. It’s a little bit beyond me I believe,” Watson said.

The storm also leveled the Avanti’s Dome in Pekin.

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