Severe Weather Damage of January 2, 2006
Emergency management personnel from the city of Chatham and Sangamon County, plus personnel from the National Weather Service office in Lincoln, conducted surveys of the damage in Sangamon County from the storms on Monday morning, January 2nd. Here are the results of the surveys.
A storm system moved north northeast over Sangamon County the morning of January 2. An intense thunderstorm produced an area of wind damage, known as a microburst. This area of damaging winds first began producing damage about 1 mile west of Auburn, or 0.5 miles west of the intersection of route 4 and route 104. At this point, the damage began at 7:20 am CST, with the wind breaking off 5 power poles along route 104. One person suffered minor injuries as the power lines fell on their car. The damaging winds then tracked north northeast, remaining west of route 4, hitting three separate farmsteads. Damage to the farmsteads included minor house damage, roof shingle damage, and blowing down two old barns. In addition, one large pole barn lost parts of its roof, with another smaller one losing parts of its roof, and another storage shed being destroyed.
The damaging wind area continued northward, crossed route 4 just south of Chatham, and moved into the south and east portions of Chatham between 7:30 and 7:35am CST. Damage first occurred in the Chatham Villa Trailer Park. The damage was limited to a tree falling on one trailer and pushing it off its foundation, some roof and awning/skirting/siding damage, plus trees/power lines blown down. Other damage in town was confined to windows blown out of one home, shingle/siding and minor roof damage to several other houses, plus several trees blown over.
The track of this microburst wind damage event followed the movement of one moderately strong thunderstorm cell. The area of damage that was produced was very narrow and straight in nature, only about one sixth of a mile wide in the rural area and only about one half to one block wide in town. There was no sign of any rotation in the resultant damage pattern. Due to the severity of the damage, the winds were estimated to be about 70 mph. The total length of the damage was about 8 miles.