Storms down trees, power lines in Sterling and Rock Falls

Cleanup was underway north of the Quad Cities after severe storms blew through the area Monday afternoon, August 25, 2014.

In Sterling, Illinois, residents like Thomas Lewis, Sr., called the scene in town “chaos.”

“I started hearing all these noises — limbs hitting the house, back of the house, front of the house, crash,” said Lewis.

Lewis, though, only felt thankful Monday evening after seeing that a large branch had fallen in the street but missed his truck by mere feet.

“I stepped outside and this is what I saw: the limbs on the ground, my truck… I was worried that it hit it, I just got it repaired about a week ago, but it missed my truck completely,” said Lewis.

Across town, Kristen Brewer wasn’t quite so lucky. Lightning struck a tree in her front yard, causing it to fall onto her daughter’s bedroom and the front porch.

“First I heard a crackling noise, and then we went out to the back because that’s where the kids were. I saw a tree fall on a lady’s car, and then I heard a loud crash, and I saw a tree fall into the bedroom,” said Brewer.

Thankfully, no one was in the bedroom when the tree crashed into the house.

“That’s my big relief,” said Brewer.

Winds and trees also downed power lines, knocking out electricity for thousands. As of 10 p.m., around 600 people were still without power in the Sterling-Rock Falls area.

A fire department spokesperson said residents could place storm debris, such as downed trees and branches, at the curb or in your alley by September 1, 2014, for pickup in Sterling.  The limbs do not have to be cut to any specific size.

Rock Falls officials say storm debris pickup begins in their city on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.  Pile branches or limbs curbside or along the alley, in manageable stacks, so traffic is not impeded.

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