Photos: Ill. residents assessing storm damage; Gillespie hit hard - KMOV.com

Photos: Ill. residents assessing storm damage; Gillespie hit hard

(AP) -- Residents throughout Illinois are assessing the damage from fierce overnight thunderstorms that downed trees, flooded streets, and ripped the roofs off buildings.

The National Weather Service says as much as 3.5 inches of rain accumulated in parts of southern Illinois.

St. Louis-based utility Ameren says nearly 10,000 southern Illinois customers remain without power.

One of the hardest hit areas in Illinois is the small town of Gillespie. Crews are there surveying the damage. Reports indicate that there is debris all over town and that several buildings have suffered extensive damage. Gillespie Community School District 7 is closed today in the wake of last night's storms.

Meteorologists say mostly clear skies and slightly lower temperatures are expected for northern Illinois Thursday. They say additional thunderstorms may bring heavy rain, gusty winds, and small hail to southern Illinois throughout the day.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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