JACKSONVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) – Scattered branches and torn up trees littered Jacksonville Monday after rain and wind rolled through the area overnight.
“About 1:30 this morning, we started getting calls from most of the central to the south part of Jacksonville and including South Jacksonville, trees down, limbs down, numerous locations, too many to even count,” Phil McCarty, the director of Jacksonville Morgan County Emergency Management said.
Many people were also left without power. Ameren crews were out fixing the problem.
McCarty said emergency management was working with Ameren to ensure crews stay safe as they clean up the damage.
“We got to make sure it’s safe to move that stuff out of the road,” McCarty said. “We got wires tied up in there, and we don’t want to get our people hurt.”
One area strongly impacted by the storm was Community Park, where leaves, broken branches, and destroyed trees laid across the area.
“It never seems to take out the dead trees that we’re hoping that’ll come down,” Adam Fletcher, Jacksonville’s Park Superintendent, said. “They’re taking the nice healthy trees that we’re going to have to replace now.”
Fletcher and other crew members were out picking up fallen branches and downed trees.
“We come in with chainsaws and dump trucks and just a lot of manpower is what it takes,” Fletcher said. “ We got some equipment out there, tractors make it a lot easier getting the big stuff out of here.”
While cleanup is underway, officials remind people to be careful as crews continue working.
“There’s a lot of damaged trees everywhere, there’s a lot of power lines down,” Fletcher said. “If it takes you 30 seconds longer to turn around and go down another street instead of trying to hurry up and go down the street with a downed tree or downed power line that could cause a lot more problems.”
McCarty said it could take weeks, even months, for crews to clear all the damage.
“We’re not going to work overtime … and we’re going to do it in a safe and economical manner to get it cleaned up,” McCarty said. “All of our routes for emergency services and people to move around town are starting to get opened back up late this morning.”
No injuries were reported.