Residents of Bloomington-Normal deal with aftermath of Friday night storms


MCLEAN COUNTY (WEEK) – Cars underwater and swept away as severe thunderstorms flooded Bloomington-Normal Friday night.

At least a dozen tow trucks tackled huge puddles of water inches thick, pulling out several cars.

“Normally, we can handle it with one guy,” said Tim Thomas of Joe’s Tow and Recovery. “But sometimes we got to call in some back up and have some other people come in and help us.”

Residents woke up Saturday morning to parts of the community about six inches underwater, including a baseball field where a tournament was set to take place.

“You feel bad for the kids [because] they’re looking forward to games today,” head groundskeeper of McLean County Pony Baseball Complex Andy Ommen said. “To cancel another weekend of games is not fun for us. Unfortunately, it’s not a darn thing we can do.”

Water made its way into some neighbor’s homes.

Bloomington resident Bruce Clark said his family ran to the basement when they heard tornado warnings.

“We came in before we had this bucket here and there’s a little hole right in the mortar,” Clark said. “And there’s a ton of water under our porch that was just seeping down and just shooting out. So we just caught it in this big bin and we take buckets and just bail it out of here while this is catching a majority of it.”

Clark said cleaning up the mess was tough, but is glad he and his family are safe.

“It’s one of those things where it happens every one in a while,” Clark said. “And so you just have to laugh and roll with it and turn it into an adventure. But I know for a lot of people, they got hurt even worse.”

Custodian Cody Cross spent the morning cleaning water out of Sarah E. Raymond Early Education.

“Came in around two in the morning. We had standing water all the way on the carpet. Classrooms were flooded. It was just all hands on deck.”

But residents may not be out of the woods yet, as the National Weather Service said another flash flood warning is in effect until 8:15 p.m.

“Not totally panicked,” Ommen said. “Ask me in three or four days if the water is still standing then I’ll get nervous.”

The Bloomington Fire Department said in a Facebook post that they responded to over 40 stranded vehicles and made 17 rescues.

I-55 near Marker 154 was also shut down for a portion of the night and day due to flooding.

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