Storm rips through town


ARTHUR — High winds ripped through Central Illinois early Tuesday morning taking off at least one roof. 

AJ’s Auto Body Shop was destroyed when the storm hit around 2 am. No one was hurt, but they had to close off a street to clean up.

This storm traveled all the way across the state. All but three Central Illinois counties were under a warning at some point. Arthur was hit with the most damage in Central Illinois. 

Mayor Matt Bernius says, “This morning when you heard the thunder and the rain, all of a sudden the power goes out and you wonder what happened. And then you come up here and you find out the roof was blown off the building.” 

A strong windstorm blew through town and blew the roof of of AJ’s Body Shop. People knew a storm was coming, but AJ got some news he wasn’t expecting.

He says, “I got a phone call this morning about 4:20 by the fire department letting me know that there was damage to my building. I was expecting just the roofing part of it. This is obviously beyond repair. There’s no fixing the building so it’s going to have to be torn down.”

Pieces of the building were found all the way across the street and landed on other houses down the road. But that’s not the only damage in town. 

Grant Corum, public works supervisor says, “That pole on the corner was snapped at the ground. These lines were down across the street. They were covering this roof.” 

The power was shut down for about six hours. Part of the roof landed on a gas meter and caused a leak which lasted for about half an hour.

Crews had to block the street to clean the mess the storm left behind. Most of the damage happened in the northwest corner of the town. Debris should be cleaned up by the end of the day. 

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