MACOUPIN COUNTY, ILL. - People in a small Illinois town are cleaning up after another round of severe weather.
Several homes in Sawyerville, which is about an hour northeast of St. Louis in Macoupin County, suffered significant damage.
“The west side of our house is where the majority of the damage was done,” said Pam Partridge, a longtime resident.
Partridge said she was fast asleep when the storm hit around 1:00 a.m. Tuesday.
“I just heard what I thought was thunder coming. It kept getting louder and louder,” she said.
She said the weather turned for the worse so quickly, she and her husband didn’t even have time to take cover.
“We just stayed underneath the covers and the pillows. I held things over my head and just did a lot of praying,” Partridge recalled.
By the time the storm passed, their house and their neighborhood was in shambles. Some residents described it as the worst damage they’ve ever seen.
“Especially for a small area this is pretty significant. I can’t remember anything memorable or this destructive to go through here,” said longtime resident Christopher Hicks.
The damage ranged from toppled trees to broken windows. There was even at least one collapsed garage and a small overturned trailer that temporarily trapped one person.
“It looks like there’s some roofs off houses. There are garages that have been knocked down. Some sheds. Bascially, it’s debris strung all over the place,” said Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl.
Kahl said given the extent of the damage, they’re lucky no one was killed or seriously hurt.
“Every once in a while you’ll have a small area of the county get hit like this. Thank God it’s just a small area and not the whole county,” he said.
Only a few hundred people live in Sawyerville.
Many of them are now beginning the process of rebuilding by helping each other with the clean up process.
“People are coming up and asking what we need,” Partridge said.
Ameren Illinois crews are also on scene working to restore power to a few thousand customers.
Kahl said it’s unclear at this time if the damage was caused by a tornado touchdown or just extremely strong straight line winds.
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