Cleaning up after storm wallops Collinsville

COLLINSVILLE, IL — An early morning storm walloped Collinsville, Illinois damaging homes, vehicles, and power lines. The storm hit around 4:30am Tuesday.

Cleanup was going full tilt Tuesday afternoon. It was like cutting through a jungle in some neighborhoods as Ameren crews worked to replace four snapped power poles.

“It’s a tough challenging day and the humidity is starting to spike. We really do appreciate the hard work the lineman are doing,” said Ameren Illinois spokesman Brian Bretsch.

Damages revealed the storm carried high winds and lots of lightning. Danny Floyd lives in the western part of Collinsville where most of the damage occurred.

“There are multiple trees down everywhere. We had to come out and clear the road. Some neighbors helping neighbors to get out here to work,” said Danny Floyd.

The storm woke up sleeping residents.

“I heard the winds pick up; extremely loud. Then I heard a whispering. I thought, 'It sounds like a train,' and then I realized that’s what they say when a tornado comes through,” said Lory Yanousek.

At least six large trees were toppled at St. John Cemetery. Some headstones were also knocked over.

Trees landed on trucks and on cars. Calli Miller owned her car for a year and a half.

“The tree, I’m pretty sure it got hit by lighting because it’s all burned in there,” said Calli Miller.

Miller's insurance won’t cover the storm damage. Miller added, “It was a good car while it lasted.”

Becky McNeil was a victim of the storm. She said, “I heard the lightning and thunder. The next thing I knew I heard (a noise). I couldn’t’ figure out exactly what the noise was.”

A tree landed on her home. Fortunately, it did not crash through the roof. McNeil said, “Lives are okay, that’s a good thing.”

There were no reports of any injuries. City crews cleared tree limbs from about two dozen streets.

Initially, about 1,500 Ameren Illinois customers lost power. Workers activated switches and rerouted electricity. The company quickly brought the number of outages down to 200. Ameren officials hope to have most if not all of them back online Tuesday night.