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Golf ball-sized hail pelts Richmond, Hebron during Wednesday storm

More thunderstorms likely

Hail damaged siding, roofs and screen doors Wednesday night in the Richmond area.
Hail damaged siding, roofs and screen doors Wednesday night in the Richmond area.

Residents in northern McHenry County experienced damage from hail Wednesday.

Golf ball-sized pieces of hail pelleted the Richmond and Hebron area Wednesday night, leaving damaged siding, screens and roofs in their wake.

“I saw one piece that was the size of the palm of your hand,” Richmond Fire Chief Rick Gallas said. “It was crazy. I haven’t seen anything like that in
65 years.”

The fire department used its new emergency siren system, which was installed in partnership with the village of Richmond and the township, he said.

“The township and village have been working for years to get new towers up,” Gallas said. “There was a time when only a radio tower was at our station, but now they are putting them through Richmond area. … We got those together and worked on getting them programmed.”

The station works with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office to stay ahead of the curve on emergency situations that might call for use of the sirens, he said.

This was the first time the department used the sirens to warn of an emergency situation. If residents hear the sirens, they should go inside, close their windows and bring their pets inside, Gallas said.

The National Weather Service predicted similar risks Thursday night for counties throughout Illinois and Indiana.

McHenry, Kane, LaSalle, Boone, Winnebago, Lake, DeKalb, Ogle, Kendall, Grundy, Will, Kankakee, Livingston, Iroquois, Ford, Lake Indiana, Porter, Newton, Jasper and Benton counties all were included under a hazardous weather outlook, according to the service.

Risks included thunderstorms, hail and wind damage with a possible risk of tornadoes, flooding and fog, according to the weather service. Those threats dissipated by 5:30 p.m. Thursday with a slight chance of isolated thunderstorms stretching into Friday morning, meteorologist Stephen Rodriguez said.

An isolated tornado threat was possible Thursday night. Limited thunderstorm risks could occur through Sunday, according to the service.

“Any storms may produce locally heavy rainfall through [Thursday night], which could lead to ponding of water on roads and localized flooding,” according to the service’s statement.

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