We urge the county board to vote ‘no’ on wind energy project


This letter is probably the most important letter that we have ever written.

We are asking you to contact your DeWitt County Board members to vote “NO” on the special use application from Tradewind Energy on the proposed Wind Turbine farm.  The three reasons that are important to us and our community members are safety, drainage, and decommissioning.

Safety:  On May 15, 1968, a tornado struck Wapella, Illinois. My Powers family of nine hovered under a table in the basement listening to the crashing of objects and breaking glass overhead.  We had no warning of this tornado, (there was no Doppler radar) and we were just plain lucky that our family was gathered in the kitchen near the basement stairs when the windows starting blowing out. The beds upstairs were completely stripped by the force of the wind, leaving just the bare mattresses and bed frames.  Shards of glass were impaled in the east walls like knives.  No one could have survived that tornado if they were upstairs in those bedrooms.

As a result of this tornado, four people in the Wapella area died.

We understand that the ALTA Farms II wind project will have turbines that fall into the radar line of sight for the primary beam elevations used for radar detection from the Lincoln Doppler.  Wind farms create motion and turbulence that interferes with radar signals and corrupts data.  ALTA II falls in the Doppler radar classification of Mitigation Zone – moderate to high impacts on radar.  

We feel the redacted enclosure submitted in the application from Tradewind Energy regarding the mitigation zone was inaccurate and deceptive.

The National Weather Service has agreed that the wind turbines are in the wrong place and will affect radar detection of forming tornadoes.  However, the National Weather Service is prohibited by law from speaking out against the project.

If the Doppler cannot detect tornado activity, how will the folks of Wapella and surrounding residents downwind of the wind turbine areas be warned?

Drainage:  Since we own land in the ALTA II area, we are especially concerned about the drainage issue with the wind tower construction cutting through tiles and surface drainage, and also about the flow of water and water table when the concrete pad is 9 – 15 feet deep and 60 feet in diameter at the bottom, and 12 – 15 feet diameter at the top. 

Who completes the drainage repairs?  Who is held accountable that the drainage will be restored and crop yields for all adjacent landowners in the footprint of the towers are not impacted by faulty drainage?

Decommissioning:  Lastly, 25-30 years from now when we have departed this earth and Tradewind Energy has sold ALTA II to the new company owners who in turn have sold to another company and then another company in a foreign country, who is held accountable?  Where does the money come from for decommissioning?  Are these monstrosities left as a scar to mark a folly for all the future generations?

      John M. Killian Mary Pat Killian