Monday Night Storms

More than 2,000 homes are still without power Tuesday evening in northern Illinois. ComEd says more than 10,000 homes had lost power at the peak of Monday night’s storms.

Winds gusted to more than 70 miles an hour at times, dropping limbs onto power lines, overturning patio furniture, and toppling entire trees. What couldn't be picked up by hand had to be removed by the professionals.

Many residents woke up Monday morning to a front yard full of debris. Small towns like Adeline and Leaf River in northern Ogle County were among the hardest hit. Belvidere, Freeport, Rockford and the rest of the Stateline were also smack-dab in the middle of a line of severe storms that fired up well west of the Quad Cities and lasted all the way through Detroit.

Some storms leave an annoying mess to clean up the next day. For others the aftermath is a bit more costly, but there is an entirely different group of people who could have serious if not life threatening complications to losing power. That group is elderly patients who receive hospice health care in their homes.

The Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center serves 30 patients at their homes in Winnebago and Boone Counties. Some have a nurse or volunteer at their home every day while others only once a week. But all the patients need access to medical care in case of an emergency, power or not.

Long-term outages are the most dangerous. In those cases patients may need to be moved to a relative’s house or to a hospital temporarily. The best way to keep your relatives safe is make sure they have a cell phone and know who to call.