Wednesday, July 28, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - July 28, 1999, Alton, Illinois as services Page IM Page IM The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN : irefighters from Meadowbrook, Bethalto and Holiday Shores responded Tuesday to a fire at a house on Echo Drive In Meadowbrook ifter tne house was struck by lightning. , Area/Illinois .A-3-12 Bulletin Board .A-7 Business D-1 Classifieds ... .C-9 Comics D-5 Editorial ......A-4 Horoscope D-5 Nation/world . .A-14;D-6 Obituaries A-5 Arnold, Barnd, Bryant, Campbell, Ellis, Freiner, Gusewelle, Lanzet, McGhee, Melcher, Smith Scoreboard____C-2 Stocks........D-2 Television.....D-7 Weather.......D-8 llfur leak likely mse of foul odor HERRY SMITH graph staff writer jTON — A power outage at Equilon’s sul-recovery unit may have been the soul ce of a1 odor that wafted across Alton Tuesday, milon Enterprises LLC - owner of the d River Refining Co. in Roxana — suffered omentary power outage to its sulfur recov-unit at 9:20 a.m., emitting a low level of ur dioxide, said Jeff Benbenek, a public /ice administrator for the Illinois ironmental Protection Agency. Aquilon called us at approximately IO a.m. '©port the emission,” Benbenek saia ^ ■ See ODOR, Page A-13 Bev Farm worker: ‘Reason we are here is the clients’ This is the first of a two-part series that focuses on workers’ viewpoints on the strike at Beverly Farm Foundation. By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer GODFREY - They get up every morning — and depending on their shifts — drive to Beverly Farm Foundation during the day or night. Since IO p.m. July 9, however, some of the employees have stopped at the entrances to the home for developmentally disabled adults, 6301 Humbert Road. Those workers grab “on-strike” signs and join picket lines for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31. The strikers are braving blistering heat, rain and uncertainty over what may happen to their jobs. Several particle-board shelters and portable restrooms on the picket lines suggest the strike could be lengthy. The rest of the workers slowly drive past the pickets, their windows rolled up and radios turned on, their eyes See WORKER, Page A-13 Trees uprooted; power knocked out SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE IS36 Another one Big Mac goes deep against Giants for bio. 37 Page OI E TELEGA A J* Tora Vs Food Dog days delight Fans of grilling don’t let hot weather stand in the way Page B-l gl The outlook jWell-behig Partly sunny, I Morgan Center rn rn    I offers expanded » High 96, low 76 rnontal health Lightning destroys new family room ; By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer MEADOWBROOK -Lightning zapped a hole in the roof of a house on Echo Drive Tuesday morning and started a fire that destroyed a newly built family room. “It scared the heck out of me,” said homeowner Charles Hudson, of 119 Echo. “It looked like a ball of fire.” People in a radius of several miles said they heard a large “boom” as the lightning hit. “It made a hole about the size of a 5-gallon bucket,” said Meadowbrook Fire Chief Cory Bowen. “It made a mess of the family room, and he (had) just completed it,” said neighbor Rita Podner, of 115 Echo. No one was hurt in the blaze that broke out about 7:45 a.m. Hudson was in the driveway, rolling up the windows on his pickup truck, when lightning hit a tree overhanging the house then bounced down to the roof. Hudson’s wife, Brenda Hudson, was on the back deck, soaking up some of the cool air the morning storm brought with it, when the lightning hit. “I thought it had me,” she said. “I started running.” Later, she went inside to dial 911, she said. The storm was one of several that rolled through the area Tuesday morning. They were sparked by a weak cold front that gave only slight relief from the heat wave. The fire widened the hole in the Hudsons’ roof and destroyed part of the attached garage along with the family room but was confined to those areas, Bowen said. He estimated damage between $25,000 and $30,000. The first trucks arrived on the scene about two minutes after the alarm, Bowen said. Vol. 164, No. 194 —50 cents Wednesday, July 28,1999 Storm wreaks havoi in area www.thetelegraph.com By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer Debbie Jenkins heard a loud crack Tuesday morning. When she looked out the front window of her house on Anna Avenue on Wood River’s west side, she saw destruction. The violent bout of wind and rain that doused the area early Tuesday wreaked havoc in Wood River in the form of uprooted trees. Jenkins’ yard was one that got hit. “I got up to turn off the computer at around 9:10 a m. I saw that lightning had split one of our 10-year-old pear trees and that gusts of wind had pulled another one completely out of the ground, roots and all. It’s really sad to see.” Both mature trees had been taller than the Jenkins house. National Weather Service forecasters say the storm probably will nqt result in a significant cool down. Forecaster Mark Britt said the front that spurred the storm moved back north and late Tuesday was hovering over northern Missouri and central Illinois. “There are some thunderstorms in central and southeastern Missouri and in far Southern Illinois,” Britt said. “Here, we’re still predict ing that the overall pattern of high pressure will rebuild and keep us in the lower to mid 90s through at least the first half of the weekend.” Illinois Power Co. reported only a dozen minor outages in the River Bend after the fast-moving storm. IP spokesman Rich Conner said eight of the houses temporarily without power were in Wood River near the intersection of Jennings and Penning avenues. “We had some secondary outages due to winds blowing tree limbs into wire*," Conner said. “The strong winds alsoj blew poles down, but all service in the River Bend has been restored.” Edwardsville did not sustain power outages, he said. In Granite City, however, the outages were far more numerous and serious. Conner said more than 800 homes suffered power outages. As of late Tuesday, 300 had yet to have their power restored. Alton’s biggest storm snafu was a. blown transformer at the AmerenUE substation that serves homes in the midtown area of Ridge and Henry streets. Mike Gillson, an AmerenUE district manager, said AmerenUE quickly connected those homes to another power Sautee. “Approximately 900 AmerenUE customers ■ See STORM. Page A-13 U FFhe overall pattern of high I pressure will rebuild and keep us in the lower to mid 90s through at least the first half of the weekend.” Mark Britt National Weather Service forecaster Alyssa Catlett, 9, left, and her sister, Samantha, 12, look for their aunt’s mailbox after it was crushed by a Bradford pear tree that was uprooted by Tuesday morning’s storm in the 500 block of Anna Avenue in Wood River.