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Remembering the storm: Calumet City hit hard

Estimated 2,000 downed trees in Cal City

By George Grenchik

CALUMET CITY, Ill. (August 24, 2020) – The storm that passed though Calumet City, Lansing, and much of the south suburbs and northwest Indiana on August 10 is known as a derecho. A derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm with hurricane-like winds. The part of the storm that hit Calumet City had no lightning, no thunder, and a large amount of rain for a fairly short duration. Some winds were clocked at around 100 MPH.

A Calumet City public works employee estimated that 2,000 trees were downed by the storm, some of which damaged houses, cars, and other property. Power outages of up to three days were experienced in many parts of Calumet City.

Many large trees were damaged in Holy Cross Cemetery and some were uprooted. Various headstones were toppled by fallen trees. Some roadways through the cemetery were still blocked two days after the storm.

The Sand Ridge Nature Center also sustained substantial damage. A ranger said one trail was still blocked three days after the storm.

It is possible that the storm on August 10 may have prevented other types of damage to Calumet City. Social media evidence suggested that Calumet City was again to be targeted by looters the day after the Magnificent Mile was pillaged on August 9th. It seems the storm put a stop to any potential looting plans.

Photos from the storm in Calumet City

A downed tree near St. Victor Church in Calumet City. (Photo: George Grenchik)
Holy Cross Cemetery was hit hard by the storm. (Photo: George Grenchik)
A car is crushed by a massive tree following the derecho that swept through Calumet City on August 10. (Photo: George Grenchik)
After the tree was removed, the full damage done to the car could be seen. (Photo: George Grenchik)
A stark scene in front of a Calumet City residence. (Photo: George Grenchik)
Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.