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ALTON/GODFREY/EDWARDSVILLE - A severe storm blew through the area around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, leaving behind a wide range of downed trees, power lines and limb debris.
In the 3100 block of Brown Street in Alton there was a tree halfway in the road after the storm and near the Dental College there were several trees down.
Alton Fire Chief Bernie Sebold said it was a busy time for firefighters, public works and police after the storm.
“Between 5:38 p.m. when the storm first started and 8:24 p.m., we responded to 16 calls. One was a traffic crash, two were EMS calls and rest storm-related,” he said. “The most notable calls were related to the storm. The glass foyer at the Miller’s Mutual Building had a 10 x 10 third-floor window blown out. That was the first call that came in and it had to have been a large burst of wind. We found nothing that would have struck it.
“We had a basement wall collapse at 107 E. Elm Street in Alton. We had three homes with lines down where trees fell and literally pulled the whole electrical device off the house. On East Center Drive in front of Frank’s Restaurant, the water was flowing across both curves and there was a low spot and an individual had a car stalled going into the interior. We pushed it to higher ground.”
Sebold praised Ameren Illinois workers for the job they did after the store to restore power to Alton residents.
There was a large tree over the road on Danforth in Alton and at West Elementary an outside fiberglass greenhouse collapsed and fell to the ground during the storm.
In the 2800 block of Godfrey Road, a tree fell over a blue truck, just behind the Quik Trip. Godfrey Fire Protection District Chief Erik Kambarian said his group actively responded to multiple calls on streets that were either flooded or blocked. He said the street department was activated and back on duty. Residents were urged to stay off the streets after the storm struck.
"We had a couple gas leak calls,” Kambarian said. “We were fully committed to jumping from call to call. There was nothing life-threatening. The street department did an excellent job clearing the roads.”
Kambarian reminded people if a street is blocked to turn around.
“Even a few inches of moving water can move a car across the road and is dangerous,” he said.
The Edwardsville Fire Department and Public Works staff had calls, but mostly some trees or limbs blown and some power issues through the storm, but officials felt fortunate it wasn’t worse in that area.
East Alton had some flooding on multiple roads after the storm hit and several cars were seen submerged in water on West Main and West St. Louis Avenue at the time of impact.
Cottage Hills reported some smoke in the post office, but after firefighters arrived there was no active fire. A home in Dow apparently was struck by lightning and that sparked a fire, shown in one of the photos below.
National Weather Service meteorologist Ben Herzog said there was plenty of damage during the storm, but it would not be determined until later today whether the storm had a tornado or just straight line winds.
“We are surveying the area on Friday morning and afternoon,” he said. “We did have a tornado warning out for part of the area and there are signs it could have been a tornado.”
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