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42 years ago, an EF-3 tornado barreled through Godfrey, Illinois

As they often do, this tornado struck at night. The EF-3 twister ripped apart homes in the town of Godfrey, Illinois.

GODFREY, Ill. — All year, we’re reflecting on 75 years of bringing you the news, and this time of year frequently involves severe weather. 

April weather can be tumultuous in St. Louis. We’re often reminded of the Good Friday Tornado in 2011, but let’s go back a little further and a little earlier in the month. It's a look back at one tornado that rattled parts of Madison County, Illinois.

April 7, 1980.

As they often do, this tornado struck at night. The EF-3 twister ripped apart homes in the town of Godfrey, Illinois.

“I heard tornado warnings on the television," one resident said. "We were laying in bed and I heard some noise, and I said to myself ‘Oh my God, it’s a tornado.’”

“I looked out and a shed was up against our house and one up against our truck, everything was just flying through the air,” said another.

When the sun rose the next morning, photographers took to the air to see some homes untouched, others destroyed and debris scattered for miles.

Clean-up began quickly, and that’s where we find a young but familiar face to St. Louis. 

"Officials estimate the damage could run as high as $1 million. Dan Gray, Channel 5 Bureau Chief, Godfrey," Gray said in our archive video.

Across the river in St. Louis and St. Charles counties, the damage amounted to $2.5 million.

5 at 75 Anniversary Celebration

We are continuing to remember the biggest moments in St. Louis history over the last 75 years as 5 On Your Side celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2022. Take a walk back in time with some of the biggest stories from each decade:

1940s: TV comes to St. Louis

1950s: Major moments captured on video

1960s: A decade of innovation

1970s: Fights, royalty and a big change

1980s: Lasting legacies and trailblazers

1990s: The stories that left a lasting impression

2000s: Making an impact for generations

2010s: Once-in-a-lifetime moments

Be sure to learn more about our banner show at locations throughout the Bi-state.

Find complete 5 On Your Side anniversary coverage, stories and videos at ksdk.com/75.

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