Storm Damages Madison County Home & Harbor

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MADISON COUNTY, IL (KPLR)-- The Wednesday night storm left its damaging mark on Metro East.  Near Godfrey there was lots of damage at Piasa Harbor along the Mississippi River.  Rich Meyer owns a house boat at the harbor. "We`re all lucky to be alive," he said.

Strong winds destroyed one of the seven docks.  No one was injured even though some folks like Riche Meyer, his wife and their 3-year-old grandson were preparing to eat dinner on their house boat which was tied to the dock.

Rich Meyer said, "All of a sudden the boat shuddered and we heard a big bang. I heard my next neighbor on his boat hollering mayday our dock is gone. I looked out the door and sure enough the dock was gone."

Alley Ringhausen is in charge at Piasa Harbor. "The boat dock was basically flipped over onto land," she said.

He estimates there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.  Six house boats were tied to the damaged dock.  They sustained cosmetic damage but were still floating.  Ringhause said, "That`s the best sign there is for a boat to be on top of the water."

Madison County Juvenile Judge David Ground is also counting his blessings.   Judge Grounds said, "Had I gone to bed earlier it would have been right where the tree came through."

Two big, old trees slammed into his Alton home.  He lives alone and was not injured.  It happened so quickly he didn`t have time to get scared.  Judge Grounds added, "The house started shaking violently and the pitch of the wind got stronger then all of sudden there was a crash and the house really shook. I thought at first it was an earthquake."