Area Around PORTA High School Cleared Friday Night Due to Runaway Wind Turbine

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 22, 2023 at 9:14am

Emergency personnel responded to a runaway windmill in Menard County last night.

According to a report by the Menard County Sheriff’s Office at 8:50 pm Friday, emergency personnel and PORTA School officials were at the PORTA High School due to a malfunction with the school’s wind turbine.

Officials say the brake system failed allowing the turbine to spin freely. School and emergency personnel were reportedly in contact with technicians who said that there was no way to stop the turbine from freely spinning until the wind laid and it stopped, or an equipment failure occurred, at which point technicians could safely ascend the tower and lock out the turbine.

The girls’ softball game was postponed in the bottom of the 3rd inning as officials cleared the area out of caution.

The Menard County Sheriff’s Department asked everyone to stay away from the area and Bluejay Road was closed until further notice.

A sheriff’s office official said as of approximately 7:30 this morning, Bluejay Road was open. No further details about the incident are available at this time.