La Salle, Bureau, Putnam counties hit with storms

Peru reports 10 downed utility poles

A rotating wall cloud appears over western Bureau County near Princeton on Friday, May 31, 2023.

A line of severe storms blasted through central and northern Illinois Friday, resulting in funnel clouds in Sherman to the south and Geneseo to the west, but La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties have been spared from the worst of it.

A tornado warning was issued in western Bureau County, but there were no immediate reports of injury. Ameren reported scattered outages across Bureau and Putnam counties.

Several thousand electrical customers were left without power in Peru about 7:30 p.m. Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski said at least 10 utility poles from the Armory to LKCS were toppled, one was split in half, and four trucks were dispatched as of 8:05 p.m.

“It’s ironic because we just, at the least City Council meeting, ordered new poles,” Kolowski said.

Spring Valley Police Chief Adam Curran said the tornado siren was activated to alert of dangerous winds, but no funnel cloud was spotted.

Heavy but short-lived downpours were reported in La Salle-Peru, which was drenched by a pair of 10-minute storms around 4 p.m. and again around 7 p.m., and Streator was thoroughly soaked late afternoon.

La Salle County Sheriff Adam Diss reported at 7:50 p.m. there were downed power lines in the northwest corner of La Salle County, extending into Mendota, where three deputies were on scene.

“We don’t have any injury reports at this time,” Diss said.

The threat of severe weather led numerous schools across the Illinois Valley to either cancel sporting events and/or announce early dismissals, mostly before 2:30 p.m.

Hall High School postponed Friday’s performance of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” while Illinois Valley Community College announced “An Evening With Gene Weygandt” at the IVCC Theatre has been postponed until Friday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. A few Friday Lenten observances either were scratched or drew limited worshippers