Weather roundup: Drying out, cleaning up, waiting for power
John Dwyer inspects his back yard after a tree destroyed his garage at 120 E. Madison St. in Elmhurst, Ill. High winds and storms created havoc last night with downed trees and loss of electrical power. (Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune / June 22, 2011)
In Winnetka, there was a similar situation at Panera Bread, said Kurt Aydin, the restaurant’s manager. It lost power between 1 and 4:30 a.m., which put a crimp in its baking schedule, he said.
Aydin estimated the restaurant was 50 percent busier than a standard Wednesday, and power outlets were at a premium.
“A lot of laptops were being plugged in. More than usual,” he said.
Of course, food and coffee was selling briskly, too.
“Lots of people said they still didn’t have power and they needed something to eat so they were coming here,” Aydin said.
Willowbrook village officials said they did not yet know how much damage was caused by the storm that snapped tree limbs, pulled down trees and knocked out power.
Village administrator Tim Halik said public works crews were focused on getting things back to normal, cleaning the streets of branches and trees.
The lights were off, but Caribou Coffee in downtown Glenview wasn't closed for business this afternoon.
Tuesday night's thunderstorms had knocked out power at the coffee shop and other businesses around Glenview and Waukegan Roads. But while many businesses hung "closed" signs on their front door, Caribou's was wide open, inviting people in.
"Most people are here for the wi-fi," shift leader Gil Magsino said as he worked the cash register. Customers pecked away at their laptop keyboards, sipping coffee.
He said a backup generator kept some electronic devices up and running, but employees were making do without some essentials — like blenders.
"We're pretty limited on what we can make," Magsino said.
Two doors down from Caribou, Alicja Gorska tended to the front counter at her children's clothing resale store, Still Adorable.
Like the Caribou baristas, Gorska was running her business with only about half her electricity.
"For some reason the lights work, the credit card terminal works and the phone works," she said.
She said she has had a few customers since she opened at 10 a.m., but she thinks most people stayed home to tend to storm damage.