Traveling through the city of Clinton on Sunday the blue skies and cooler temperatures clashed with the bleak scene left on some streets from Saturday’s severe thunderstorm. Areas of town were spotted with trees that had been ripped out of the ground by their roots, sheds and signs in pieces, and entire homes eclipsed by leaf-filled branches.
For Mark Rolston, of Clinton, the storm not only cut short his vacation in Wisconsin, but also sent a tree crashing through his roof.
He received the news about 3 p.m. Saturday and rushed home to survey the damage. When he got to his house on 19th Avenue North near North Sixth Street, he witnessed the large tree sitting on his roof, creating a busy Sunday of cleaning up and utilizing a crane to lift the tree off his home.
“The strom was a strong wind producer,” Tim Gross, meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Davenport office, said Sunday.
A 57-mph wind gust was recorded at the Clinton Municipal Airport at 1:54 p.m.
In total, the storm, which hit Clinton shortly before 2 p.m, produced 1.38 inches of rain, according to an NWS gauge at the airport.
Lt. Greg Forari with the Clinton Fire Department said the department received 15 calls related to storm damage on Saturday.
“The Lyons area looks like it got hit the worst,” Forari said.
Debris and scattered leaves covered most of Pershing Boulevard on Sunday.
Pat VanKampen was busy picking up sticks Sunday, but he was one of the lucky ones on the street. Although some branches fell from his trees, no big damage was visible to his home.
“We watched the storm come in and we hightailed it inside once it got worse,” VanKampen said. “We could tell by the trees that it was aggressive.”
Ron Mussman wasn’t as lucky as VanKampen.
Mussman, who also lives on Pershing, was busy buying a used car at McEleney’s when the storm hit Saturday. He received a call after the storm let up from his son-in-law that a large tree in his front lawn had been knocked over, which Mussman said appeared to be the victim of a lightning hit.
“The city cleaned it off the road right away and now I figured I should clean it up for the neighbors,” said Mussman, who was busy Sunday using his chainsaw to chop up the tree.
But Mussman didn’t seem to mind, since he will use the wood to burn during the winter.
“I figured I would make the best of it,” Mussman said.
No injuries were reported as result of the storm, Forari said.
Alliant Energy estimated more than 6,000 customers in Clinton County alone were without power as of 3:30 p.m. Saturday. By Sunday afternoon, power had been restored to all but a handful of those customers.
The Clinton County Sheriff's Office confirmed trees and power lines were down across the county on Saturday as a result of the storm, but estimated most of the damage was concentrated in Clinton.
Clinton County Sheriff Sargeant Don Weis said the storm produced little damage to the county. Weis said as of Saturday evening county road crews had not been dispatched to any property damage. The only consequences of the storm were two minor car accidents and some downed limbs. Weis was not aware of any personal injuries as a result of the storm.
“I was actually expecting more,” Weis said.
Clinton Herald Associate Editor Scott Levine contributed to this story.