Few power outages remain in Madison and St. Clair counties following an overnight storm.
Ameren Illinois leaders say the vast majority of customers affected by an overnight storm have seen their power restored.
As of 8 p.m. Friday, Ameren reported that 99.9 percent of metro-east customers have power.
The largest remaining outage was in west Belleville and surrounding areas where 726 people were without power. Smaller numbers of customers remain disconnected in Cahokia, Caseyville, Collinsville, Fairview Heights, Granite City, Millstadt and surrounding areas.
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“We appreciate the patience our customers have shown, and understand they want their service restored as quickly as possible,” Ameren Illinois president Richard Mark said in a released statement. “We will be working safely throughout the day to achieve this goal.”
Storms that roared through the area Friday packed spectacular lightning, strong winds, heavy rain and hail.
According to reports from around the area, a very large tree was pushed over by high winds in Collinsville. An apartment building in Granite City was apparently struck by lightning, shattering its chimney.
Ameren Illinois activated its Emergency Operations Center at 11 p.m. Thursday to coordinate service restoration, logistical support and communications. The center will continue to monitor the situation Friday as more strong weather is expected to move through the area throughout the day.
According to the National Weather Service, at least 1.18 inches of rain fell on Downtown St. Louis Airport in Cahokia as of 11 p.m. Thursday. Wind gusts there reached 51 miles per hour during the height of the storm.
Cooler and more tranquil weather is on tap for the weekend. Saturday, skies will be sunny and temperatures will only reach 79. It will be clear and 61 Saturday night. Sunday’s forecast calls for clear skies and a high of 80.