Storms battered McHenry County on Saturday night and Sunday morning, with lightning contributing to at least four structure fires and heavy rains resulting in area flooding.
Firefighters were called to a home at 2 a.m. in the 12000 block of Illinois Street in Sun City, Huntley, which was left uninhabitable after an attic fire.
“We’re really thinking at this particular point, based on the conditions, it seems more than likely a lightning strike, but we’re going to do a thorough investigation just to make sure,” Huntley Deputy Fire Chief Al Schlick said. “Companies had fire through the roof. ... Our response time to this location was about three minutes.”
Schlick said no people or pets were injured.
Firefighters also responded to a fire at a large barn that burned to the ground at 1 a.m. in the 20000 block of Beck Road, Marengo.
“When I arrived on scene, [the fire] was totally through the roof,” Marengo Fire Chief Bob Bradbury said, adding that he believes lightning caused it. “It’s been an unusual year. We’ve had a lot of moisture and a lot of storms.”
He said no people or animals were injured.
A duplex sustained “very minor” damage from a lightning strike about 2:20 a.m. in the 600 block of Schubert Street, Woodstock.
Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Capt. Brendan Parker said its residents woke up to thunder after lightning struck their attic. The residents were able to extinguish the fire before firefighters arrived, he said. No one was injured.
In Cary, lightning struck a home about 1:30 a.m. on Oak Crest Road.
Cary Fire Protection District Capt. Frank Polivka said the incident was “relatively minor” and the fire was out before firefighters arrived. No one was injured.
Heavy rains battered the area over the course of several hours. High-standing water and flooding were reported in some areas. In Woodstock, Martin Shymkus, of the 400 block of Leah Lane, said he was on his way to work about 4:30 a.m. when he found his car had filled with water and had a dead battery.
About 5 inches of rain fell in Marengo, and 4 inches fell in Woodstock on Saturday night and Sunday morning, Deubelbeiff said.
“That was the most we had seen in northern Illinois,” he said.
On Monday, the McHenry Sheriff’s Office advised that it had received numerous reports of flooded roads around the county. Although police were working with local townships and the county highway department to mark these streets for drivers, many areas remained unmarked.
Lake in the Hills police reported that Willow Street was closed between Hiawatha Drive and Council Trail because of flooding. Police also advised of a tornado warning at 1:48 p.m. Monday, which was canceled later in the afternoon.
The Fox Waterway Association advised that portions of Fox River were under a no-wake restriction because of weather conditions Monday. Lakewood officials also advised that Crystal Lake was under a no-wake restriction until further notice.