Storm causes fits in Mendota

An ominous-looking shelf cloud hovers over Mendota High School as it drops south toward the city on June 30. The storm contained persistent high straight-line winds that left some destruction in its path, including the downing of trees, power lines and cable lines at various locations in Mendota. (Reporter photo)

Power poles & trees snapped; services disrupted

MENDOTA – A violent storm tore across this part of the state on June 30 causing widespread damage to trees and utility poles, which resulted in power outages for many local residents.

The real culprit was in the 800 block of Burlington Street, above, that knocked out power, cable TV and internet service to a large swath of town for more than 24 hours.

Carl Ambler, head of Mendota’s Streets and Sanitation Department, said the storm caused damage to trees throughout Mendota. City crews were out soon after the storm passed to get streets cleared of branches and debris as quickly as possible and most city streets were opened by Monday afternoon.

The widespread power outage in Mendota occurred when a pole snapped in the 800 block of Burlington Street and caused most of the loss of power, cable and internet. An entire block of downtown (city building, post office, businesses) and a large residential area were without services for more than 24 hours.

Additionally, another power pole was knocked over causing lines to make contact with a tree and start a small tree fire on 17th Street near the Mendota High School bus garage.

Parts of trees also fell on a vehicle and a house on East Sixth Street.

Ambler said crews are continuing to work on clean-up along with their regular chores and he expected everything to be cleared by next week. He noted that summer storms are hard on mature trees, but because the city has been aggressive on its tree program, the amount of damage is not as severe as it used to be.

“There was no major property damage with this storm and no one got hurt, so that was good,” he added. “But it was a dangerous situation because of trees falling on utility lines.”

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