It could be two weeks before all the downed limbs and debris from Friday night’s fierce storms are cleaned up.
But Plainfield Public Works Director Allen Persons said staff members are hoping to speed things up with the use of a second wood chipper that is currently on loan to the village for free, plus an earlier start time of 5:30 a.m. for crews.
Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek, who also heads up the Plainfield Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), said hurricane-force winds caused damage throughout the village.
“I would guess that we sustained winds of 80 to 90 mph,” Konopek said, adding that few locations were spared.
“This storm went right from east to west, north to south,” he said. “There was not really one area of the village that was wasn’t affected.”
That included PEMA’s headquarters and the police department, which both lost power during the storms, Konopek said.
Persons said public works crews estimated there are 200 locations with limbs and downed trees that need to be picked up. Hardest hit were the Pheasant Chase and Quail Run subdivisions south of 135th Street and west of Route 59 near Van Dyke Road.
“We’ve focused most of our efforts on areas with the most damage,” Persons said.
Konopek said the high winds pulled shingles and siding off homes, drove a tree through a moving vehicle on 135th Street, downed power lines and even lifted a section of the roof at Aerotek Design Labs, 24119 Riverwalk Ct.
“They are a high-technology business and a lot of water got into their equipment,” Konopek said. “As far as structure damage, that was the worst incident in town.”
Cleanup efforts will continue as the days pass.
Residents with downed tree limbs can bring them to the parkway and they will be picked up by public works crews, Persons said. Any other debris, including smaller limbs that can be placed inside yard waste bags, will be collected by Waste Management.
With extreme temperatures expected to continue throughout the week, public works employees will be allowed to begin work at 5:30 a.m. to help them beat the heat.
Village ordinance normally prohibits the use of noisy equipment like chippers until 7 a.m. But that rule is relaxed in the case of emergencies or post-emergency cleanup, Persons said.
“I don’t care what you’re doing, it is difficult to work outside” in this weather, Persons said.
Mayor Mike Collins and trustee Margie Bonuchi applauded village staff, police and PEMA for their efforts during and after the storm.
“It’s going to be a while before we have all the streets clean but [they] did a phenomenal job,” Collins said.
Cooling center open
With more than 4,000 customers estimated to be without power following the storm, Konopek said electricity has been restored throughout most of the village.
There are still a few customers without power in areas where power lines were actually ripped from homes, he noted.
The Plainfield Police Department, 14000 Coil Plus Drive, is open as a cooling center for those still coping with power loss. For more information, call 815-436-2431.
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