Hail Reported at Hennepin, Road Flooding Near Lacon

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
An early-evening storm popped up over Putnam County, dumping rain and hail on Wednesday and moved, ever so slowly, southward, drenching Hennepin and McNabb before camping over central Marshall County, flooding some low-lying roads.

National Weather Service reported a storm capable of producing 60-mph wind was delivering hail to Hennepin at 5:25 p.m., and had dropped half-dollar-sized hail in some locations earlier in the day.

During and after that storm, area residents submitted photos of ping-pong-ball-sized hail to the NewsTribune, including teen weather buff Billy Faletti of Granville submitting a photo of two golf-ball-sized hailstones he collected three miles west of McNabb.

A thunderstorm warning was in effect through the evening and into the night for PutnamCounty and southern Bureau and La Salle counties.

However, as of 10:30 p.m., La Salle County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers were aware of no road closings.

In Putnam County, heavy rain and runoff flowed to a low spot south of Hennepin near the Hennepin Farms rural subdivision and pushed standing water onto Route 26.

A Putnam County sheriff’s dispatcher said at one point during Wednesday night, water from fields and waterways rose over sections of McNabb Blacktop and Clear Creek Road.

She said some small branches were blown down by strong winds in the small storm, but damage was worse in Marshall County.

At 10:40 p.m., Route 26 between Lacon and Henry was closed due to the washout of an approximately 20-foot-long strip along the highway, Marshall County Sheriff’s Department reported. The deputy there said rain was inundating the Lacon-Sparland area at that time, with standing water reported over roadways including Route 29 near Sparland.

By 6 a.m. today, Illinois Department of Transportation had filled the washout area and Route 26 between Henry and Lacon had reopened. However, Route 26 south of Lacon was closed due to water from creeks and waterways going over the highway in some locations at that time. The storm also camped over and drenched Camp Grove Road and Yankee Lane, also in the Lacon area.

The weather service reports storm potential for La Salle and Bureau counties today, with the greatest chances of severe weather and the heaviest downpours increasing from the Mendota area and northward into southwest and south-central Wisconsin.

Still, there’s a chance of thunderstorms today even in the Marshall County area, with greater thunderstorm likelihood Friday, as well as Saturday night and Sunday, according to NWS. In fact, the weather service reports the possibility of thunderstorms daily through Wednesday.

Weather service explains pop-up hail storms

“Typically when large hail occurs when we experience a highly sheared environment. But that is not always the case, and the setup that produced the softball size hail in MinookaIL was a good example of this,” National Weather Service reported on its website. “Severe thunderstorms can and frequently do create their own environments. The setup in this case was strong updrafts that continued to hold the hail stones aloft, and continue to grow.”

Source: News Tribune