Metro East residents cleaning up after Monday’s storm

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR) - Two Belleville subdivisions took the brunt of the storm damage Monday afternoon.  28 homes were damaged in the Orchards and Maple Hill subdivisions, according to the St. Clair County Emergency Management director.

"Some roofs are lost," said Herb Simmons, EMA director.   "The good thing is no injuries have been reported."

He said the powerful winds formed in a hurry.  It's believed a weak tornado formed.  Trained storm spotter John Goelz suddenly realized the severe weather threat was headed in the direction of his parent's house in the Maple Hills subdivision.

"The feeling is like getting punched in the stomach," said Goelz.   "All the air comes out of your lungs and you just can't get here fast enough."

The damage hit the street behind Goelz's parents.

"Just goes to show that you have to take every single warning seriously," said Goelz.  "These things spin up and do damage, and lift in matter of moments."

The only business to take on substantial damage appeared to be The Weingarten.  The owner said he will remain open even though the storm destroyed a tent.  He said the area used as a wedding venue was not damaged.

Simmons is asking any gawkers to stay away from the damaged areas.  Police roadblocks were in place Monday to keep outsiders away.​

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