Wind gusts approaching 50 miles per hour kept Alton forestry crews busy on Thursday.  With the winds whipping up ahead of a wintry mix of precipitation, the first calls for trees down came in during the morning rush.  The forestry division's Joel Anderson says much of the wood they collected will be put to good use.

Anderson comments

The winds also played havoc with electric service across the region.  There were small pockets of outages in many communities, with the biggest outage reported in Brighton. Nearly 1,500 customers were without power through the late morning hours.

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