Power restored to Dominican, Oak Park library
Updated: August 6, 2012 11:42AM
OAK PARK — The electricity is back on at Dominican University in River Forest and Oak Park’s main library. It was restored Monday night.
Both institutions were closed Sunday and Monday due to power outages following Sunday’s 80 mph winds.
At Dominican, the Main and Priory campuses were open Tuesday and classes resumed as regularly scheduled. The Goedert Early Childhood Education Center and the ELS program, both of which are located at our Priory Campus, are also open, Dominican officials reported.
“It’s kind of like a snow day in summer,” said university spokesman Jessica MacKinnon on Monday.
At the Oak Park Public Library, the main branch on Lake Street was reopened, and all of its websites were back up and operating on Tuesday.
“We’re so glad power was restored late last night, especially since all three libraries are essential cooling centers,” said Deirdre Brennan, Executive Director of the Oak Park Public Library. “This time was another reminder of how our customers need us and our services each and every day.”
Storms buffeted Oak Park and River Forest Sunday afternoon with torrential rain and one-inch long wafer-shaped hail.
A wind gauge at the main water pumping station at Lake Street and Lombard Avenue in Oak Park clocked gusts as high as 82 mph.
“There were definitely some significant straight winds blowing through,” said Oak Park village spokesman Dave Powers.
The storm threatened to interfere with more than just electrical service. Power was also knocked out at the village’s south water pumping station at Garfield Street and Harvey Avenue. The facility is currently running off a generator brought in by a ComEd crew. The utility continues to work Monday to restore power to the site.
ComEd spokesman John Schoen said there were “a significant number of outages throughout the western suburbs,” but could not give specific numbers for Oak Park and River Forest.
“It could take up to several days to restore power,” Schoen said. “We don’t have a restoration time (estimate) yet.”
Powers said the bulk of the storm’s damage in Oak Park appeared to be south of Lake Street. That included several large branches broke off of Maple trees on the 600 block of S. Scoville Avenue, blocking the street.
“There were some really major limbs that came down,” he said, adding that forestry crews on site expect “significant tree loss.”
To the north a major limb broke off a tree near Taylor Park on Berkshire Street.
There were also downed power lines reported on the 300 block of S. Linden Avenue and the 400 block of Washington Boulevard.
Forestry crews worked from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday clearing downed limbs off streets and securing damaged trees. On Monday five Forestry Department personnel and a dozen private contractor employees were out attending to tree damage assessments and general clean up tasks.
“It’ll probably take a week or more to clean up everything,” Powers estimated.