Edwardsville and Godfrey were some of the hardest-hit areas by storms that blew through the metro-east late Saturday night, knocking down trees and power lines and leaving thousands without power.
On Sunday, the cities’ emergency crews tried to survey and minimize the damage, clearing limbs from roadways and subdivisions.
Edwardsville: A “tornadic event”
In Edwardsville neighborhoods, cars were crushed by falling limbs, windows were blown out and trees had fallen on top of homes.
The damage was so extensive that 5th Ward Alderman Will Krause said he wouldn’t be surprised if parts of the town had actually been hit by a small tornado.
“I’ve heard it may have been a small tornado because the path of destruction was isolated in the core of the community,” Krause said. “At the very least, it was a tornadic event.”
According to Krause, the extent of Edwardsville’s damage was greatest down Holyoake Road, Troy Road, Hale Avenue and near Leclaire Elementary School.
For Edwardsville residents with downed limbs in their yard, Krause said to move the debris to the curb for public works staff to pick up starting Monday.
A press release from the city asked residents to cut limbs into pieces no larger than six feet if possible and said clean-up will focus on the following areas: Grandview, Troy Road, Montclaire, Leclaire, Dunlap Lake, Steinmeyer, Schwarz Street and Esic. Smaller debris and leaves can be put into regular trash bags and will be handled by normal trash services.
Krause said there were no injuries in Edwardsville as far as he knows.
Godfrey: “It was devastating”
Godfrey also experienced significant damage..
Jim Lewis, of Godfrey’s street department, said he and his men have been working since 5:30 a.m. to clear nearly 20 blocked roads in the city.
“It was devastating,” Lewis said. “We got hit extremely hard.”
The center of Godfrey, near Lewis and Clark Community College had more damage than the northern part of the city, Lewis said. Down toward the Mississippi River near Stoneledge Court and Stanka Lane also saw extensive damage.
City officials will reevaluate Monday to plan how best to help residents with downed trees and limbs in their yards, Lewis said.
No one was injuries in Godfrey to Lewis’ knowledge, he said.
Cities without power
According to tweets from Ameren, power has been restored to over 20,000 residents, but they had no estimate on when it would be back for everyone in the metro-east.
“Crews are definitely working. This morning over 40,000 customers were w/o power, right now that # has been reduced to 18,338,” one tweet read on Ameren Illinois’ official Twitter page.
Another reply to a concern about when power would be back on read, “Progress is being made. I am sorry that I do not have an estimated safe restoration time available for you in Edwardsville.”
Neither Lewis nor Krause said they have received estimates from Ameren on when power would be restored for the thousands without electricity. Krause reminded residents to stay away from downed power lines, as they can still have electricity running through them.
Many Edwardsville residents were still left without power Sunday afternoon, including several restaurants like Peel Wood Fired Pizza, according to a tweet posted by the company.
Godfrey had a sporadic pattern of outages, Lewis said, making it difficult to tell how many didn’t have power. According to a Facebook post from the fire department, over 40 percent of the city’s Ameren customers have no electricity.
Ameren Illinois was not immediately available for comment Sunday.
In Belleville, 623 households were without power as of 7:30 a.m.