EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Thursday night’s storm was such a monster it swallowed all of St. Clair County, Illinois.
Every community in the count was impacted in some way, said Herb Simmons, St. Clair County Emergency Management Director.
Downed power poles from Thursday night’s storm in East St. Louis created an emergency situation at the Joseph Center on Friday. More than 20 US veterans live in the building on State Street. They lost power around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Simmons said his agency was helping to secure hotel vouchers for the veterans until power was restored at the home.
There was widespread damage across the county. In Fairview Heights, the roof of a six-unit apartment building was torn off. There were about a dozen residents there. The landlord told Fox2/News11 the Red Cross was assisting them with temporary hotel stays as he worked on getting a new roof.
There were trees down blocking part of Main Street and knocking out power in Belleville and crushing three cars in Caseyville.
By Friday afternoon, the heat was the biggest concern, with heat indices in triple digits.
The veterans’ home was like a rain forest with the temperature soaring; the walls and floors almost dripping wet from humidity.
The vets left hopped on a bus bound for a hotel around 5:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
There were 13 cooling centers open in St. Clair County alone.
Ameren had called in 400 workers from northern Illinois and Kentucky to help restore power to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis.
Ameren Illinois issued the following estimates on when power can be expected to be restored for customers in the affected regions:
- Alton Area – 10 p.m. on Friday
- Sparta, Carbondale areas – Noon on Saturday
- Collinsville, Granite City, Maryville areas – 10 p.m. on Saturday
- East St. Louis, Belleville, Marion, Mt. Vernon, Centralia, Harrisburg, Anna areas – Midnight on Saturday