Powerful storms hit the metro-east late Saturday afternoon, packing high winds and lightning and bringing down trees, power lines and utility poles across the region.
Fires that burned trees and at least one home were blamed on lightning strikes.
Shortly before 5 p.m., there were reports of an elderly man being trapped by a tree that fell. Police radio dispatches indicated a man in his 60s in Alton went outside to check on the storm when a tree blew down on him.
At 5:01 p.m., a police radio dispatch stated someone had spotted a funnel cloud near North Seven Hills Road in O’Fallon.
Multiple Belleville residents reported trees, power lines and utility poles down.
In Caseyville, a tree fell onto a residence on Brookside Drive and a home was struck by lightning on Coach Street.
Power lines were reported down on Edna Drive and near the United Church of Christ in O’Fallon. A tree was down in a yard on East Third Street.
Camp Jackson firefighters responded to a home on Walnut Street in Alorton that had been struck by lightning and was on fire.
In Mascoutah, many trees and power lines were reported down with some of the power lines arcing.
A tree was reported down across Meyer Street in Lebanon.
A large tree was blown over onto a home in Alton.
Residents in St. Jacob reported a transformer had blown on St. Jacob Street.
Power lines were down and arcing and trees were uprooted in Troy.
According to Ameren Illinois’ outage map, nearly 17,000 customers from Edwardsville to west Belleville and from Cahokia to Highland were without electricity as of 7:30 p.m. The most significant outages were reported in an area that included parts of Washington Park, Collinsville and Maryville.
There were also reports of several power lines down and trees blown down across Madison and Clinton counties.