Some residents of northern Madison County and St. Louis headed into their second night without power after a series of storms blew through the region Wednesday night.
But local leaders said there were no serious injuries caused by the storms, which authorities confirm had at least one tornado.
"We had some tree limbs down across the area but the biggest problem in the metro-east were in Wood River where a power pole was snapped and in Macoupin County where two-foot diameter trees were downed," National Weather Service meteorologist Melissa Byrd said. "Most of the worst damage was on the Missouri side."
One of the people impacted by the storm was Associate Judge David Grounds, who lives in Alton and is assigned to Madison County's juvenile court.
Grounds told the Associated Press that he was in his home of 43 years Wednesday night when he heard rains suddenly intensify before winds came with what he called "incredible resonance."
Grounds said that's when the house at the end of a dead end road started shaking violently as if it was grabbed by both sides. He originally thought it was an earthquake, and that's when "things started collapsing."
An oak tree and an ash tree, each with root balls 10 feet wide, caved in his bedroom and crushed two of his vehicles.
Capt. T. Mike Dixon of the Madison County Sheriff's Department confirmed that there were no serious injuries caused by the storm in his jurisdiction. In Granite City, straight line gusts of up to 75 miles an hour were recorded. But there were no reports of major damage.
However, there was significant damage in Alton and Godfrey caused by falling trees and high winds.
The American Red Cross set up at Piasa Harbor in Godfrey to assist families with immediate needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
According to Ameren, more than 2,000 customers in the northern Madison County area were without electricity Thursday morning because of downed power lines. By 9 p.m., about 137 people in the Godfrey area remained without electricity.
"They're resetting the last poles, and customers should have power restored soon," said Ameren spokeswoman Victoria Bush. "They're very close to getting that power back."
In Missouri, an EF-2 tornado caused heavy damage to dozens of homes in the Hazelwood area and left some roads impassable because of downed trees and limbs. That category of tornado generally brings winds of 113 to 157 mph. There were also widespread power outages in that area.
By Thursday morning more than 40,000 customers on the Missouri side of the river were without electricity, and more than 5,500 were still without power at 8:30 p.m.
While the northern part of the area got a lot of wind, the south got more rain. Lambert International Airport reported 1.12 inches of rain while Scott Air Force base had 1.4 inches.
Another suspected tornado damaged vehicles and homes in The Hill neighborhood in St. Louis near Interstate 44.
Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at email@example.com or call 239-2626.