Winnetka, News

Downburst uproots tree and causes other damage in Northfield

A storm that sliced through the North Shore Monday evening wreaked havoc in a pocket of Northfield.

Flying tree limbs, split branches and even an uprooted tree damaged homes near Winnetka and Avon avenues when what the National Weather Service called “strong straight-line winds of up to around 70 mph” struck in the area.

No injuries were reported to local authorities, said Northfield Fire Chief Mike Nystrand.

A spokesperson with the weather service told The Record that it collected evidence of funnel clouds forming near Northfield, but the service announced on Twitter that it had no evidence of a tornado touching down. The high-powered winds, according to the tweet, originated adjacent to the the part of the storm generating the funnels.

Nystrand, who is also the town’s public works director, said the storm most impacted a narrow patch of Northfield located north of Winnetka Road and between Wagner and Frontage roads. Severe damage, he said, was noted on Dickens Road, Stockton Drive and Bristol Road, among other streets.

Nystrand said in his 45 years with the Village of Northfield the narrowness of Monday’s storm damage was unique.

A funnel cloud captured by photographer Nina Brady, who was at Gillson Beach in Wilmette.

“I’ve seen a number of storms during that time span,” he said. “They are usually more widespread and not so compact. It was unique to me in that just a 6-block-by-2-block section of our community was impacted by the downburst.”

The winds ripped off shutters and shingles and they pulled down gutters. A car in one driveway had a tree branch through its rear window, Nystrand said.

A large portion of a tree in Northfield cracked from its trunk during the storm.

The storm, Nystrand said, also knocked down power lines and knocked out power to some homes on Monday night. As of Tuesday, according to ComEd’s outage map, the power was restored across Northfield.

The “neighborhood looked really good compared to last night,” Nystand said on Tuesday, July 12, as village employees worked alongside neighbors to clean up debris and along with ComEd to clear the power lines.

“I’m really impressed by all the neighbors and residents in that area all out helping each other,” he said.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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