Over 233,000 Illinois residents found themselves in the dark after severe storms moved through the majority of the state on Thursday, June 29, 2023. Wayne-White Electric had thousands of outages from the storms, with total outage times varying. Reports stated that at the peak of the outages, over half a million Illinois residents were without power on that Thursday evening.
The June 29th storms were categorized as a "derecho," meaning they carried winds equivalent to a Category 2 Hurricane. Some locations in Central and Northern Illinois saw wind gusts up to 100 miles per hour. Edwards and Wabash Counties had reports of 80 and 90 mph winds that helped cause the damage above. According to the National Weather Service at Paducah, Kentucky, there were 238 storm reports throughout the four-day severe weather event. Various hail reports in our area were as follows: 1.75" in Keenes and in Albion, 1/4" in Wayne County, 1" near Macedonia.
Scattered storms continued off and on throughout the weekend, causing more scattered outages throughout the Wayne-White service territory. Linemen were busy throughout the weekend, with several overnight hours spent restoring electricity to members. Pictured to the right above is an entire building that was picked up during a storm and thrown into the power lines south of Albion.
While parts of our territory did see some storm damage, with some having worse damage than others, it was Central and Northern Illinois that saw the most destruction. One of the seven cooperative principles that all cooperatives follow is "Cooperation Among Cooperatives." When another cooperative is in need or asks for assistance, all that are able will answer the call to provide assistance. Wayne-White Electric's assistance was requested by a fellow Illinois electric cooperative in Mattoon - Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative. Wayne-White sent a crew to assist them in their efforts for multiple days of cleanup and restoration.