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Whipping winds and lightning hit Holyoke PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kyle Arnoldy   

Sirens were a common occurrence in Holyoke late last week as extreme weather caused the horns to blow for four separate events.

Throughout the week, rainstorms were accompanied by lightning shows that filled the night sky with colorful explosions. Unfortunately, lightning was not limited to the sky as the sirens called the Holyoke Volunteer Fire Department into action Thursday, June 26, at 10:50 p.m. for a report of lightning striking a house at 227 S. Sherman Ave.

HVFD inspected the house and found no sign of fire, smoke or lightning damage.

According to Holyoke weather observer Dan Kafka, Holyoke received 1.03 inches of precipitation Thursday, and The Weather Channel indicated gusts of wind reaching 28 mph. The storm initially caused a power outage in the 200-700 blocks of Sherman and Sheridan avenues, and then again in the 500-700 blocks on the same streets.

The ferocity of the storms picked up Friday evening, bringing another .64 inches of rain and winds whipping up to 39 mph. Power outages were reported for much of the east corridor and southwest edge of Holyoke.

HVFD was busy Friday evening with the siren ringing multiple times in just over an hour span. At approximately 6:10 p.m., the horns rang for a report of downed power lines on the road three miles south of Holyoke on Highway 385. HVFD helped direct traffic for Phillips County Sheriff’s Office.

Less than 20 minutes later at 6:25 p.m., the sounds of sirens again echoed throughout town for a report of sparking power lines near the Gordon Street and High School Avenue intersection. Nothing was found upon the arrival of HVFD.

At 7:15 p.m., the sirens were started one last time due to a report of power lines down at 434 S. Sherman Ave. Once again, nothing was found.

The forceful winds caused many tree limbs to break off and scatter around town. A large tree at City Park was split in two by the gusting wind. On the way down, the tree brought down street light circuits, prompting city crews to tend to the hot wires.

This downed tree is popular with active kids as Marcelo Chaparro, pictured in front, and Kayla Marshall and Azury Chaparro, from left, in back, climb and sit up on the large branches Monday, June 30.  —Enterprise photo

Friday’s storm brought the precipitation total from Monday, June 23, up to approximately 2.54 inches, according to Kafka. Holyoke received 6.34 inches for the month of June.

Holyoke once again avoided the dreadful hail as there were reports of hail southwest of Paoli but none making its way to town.

Holyoke Enterprise July 3, 2014