Strong Winds Leave Central Illinois In A Mess


Charleston - It was just after 3:00 p.m. when strong storms came rolling through central Illinois, dropping rain in Charleston, heavy winds in Mattoon, and destroying a barn and grain bin in Gays.

First came the wind and then came the rain, making it almost impossible for Aaron Davis to drive.

"Lot's of tree limbs blowing off.  I seen one whole tree rip out of the ground, so it was pretty scary," says Davis.

The storm even knocked out power to a laundromat in Mattoon, leaving everyone inside in the dark.

"I did hear the sirens once I opened the door, I was like, I have no idea where to go for safety here, so I was pretty scared," says Amanda Turner, who was working at the laundromat when the power went out.

"It kind of went down like a crack like they always do, but she was standing here at the front door here when it went down," says Ed Davis, referring to a tree that crashed to the ground just feet from his home.

"Just as I started to open my door, it was this real loud crack and the whole top of the tree came out and it looked like it was going to come on the porch, but it went to the east, and I thought my porch was coming down on me, so I slammed the door real quick," says Davis' wife Shirley.

Just a few blocks away Norma Ferree's home wasn't as lucky.

"My husband was in the basement and I was upstairs, but I didn't it, and I just looked out and saw it through the window.  It just split it.  The wind just split the tree," says Ferree.

The exact amount of damage caused by the storm isn't known at this time, but judging by all the damage reported in central Illinois, clean-up crews will be busy for the next few days.

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