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Early-evening storm leaves its mark on southern Illinois

  • An Energy business - Renovations - was one of the businesses in Energy that sustained the most damage from Tuesday evening's storm. Clifton Reynolds is the owner of the business.

    An Energy business - Renovations - was one of the businesses in Energy that sustained the most damage from Tuesday evening's storm. Clifton Reynolds is the owner of the business.
    John Homan photo

  • Herrin and Energy firefighters help wash away debris from Illinois 148 not long after heavy winds caused considerable damage to businesses and homes. Debris included mostly roofing and insulation.

    Herrin and Energy firefighters help wash away debris from Illinois 148 not long after heavy winds caused considerable damage to businesses and homes. Debris included mostly roofing and insulation.
    John Homan photo

  • The roof of the Pine Lakes Golf Course in Herrin was ripped off the clubhouse when high winds tore through the community early Tuesday evening.

    The roof of the Pine Lakes Golf Course in Herrin was ripped off the clubhouse when high winds tore through the community early Tuesday evening.
    John Homan photo

  • There was roof and door damage at the International Union of Operating Engineers 318 on College Street, about a mile east of Energy.

    There was roof and door damage at the International Union of Operating Engineers 318 on College Street, about a mile east of Energy.
    John Homan photo

  • The metal awning that covers golf carts at Pine Lakes Golf Course in Herrin was bent out of shape following Tuesday's storm.

    The metal awning that covers golf carts at Pine Lakes Golf Course in Herrin was bent out of shape following Tuesday's storm.
    John Homan photo

  • A tree fell across College Street near Crenshaw Crossing, about a mile east of Energy. Water had also collected near the road, but had not yet made the road impassable.

    A tree fell across College Street near Crenshaw Crossing, about a mile east of Energy. Water had also collected near the road, but had not yet made the road impassable.
    John Homan photo

 
By John D. Homan
Managing Editor
jhoman@localsouthernnews.com
updated: 4/6/2018 11:56 AM

ENERGY - There were no injuries reported, but there was plenty of damage to businesses and residences Tuesday evening when heavy winds ripped through the communities of Energy and Herrin in west Williamson County.

The roof was torn off the clubhouse at Pine Lakes Golf Course. Windows were smashed and the metal awning protecting the golf carts was twisted like a pretzel. Trees were also uprooted on the course.

Club owner Judy Preston was assessing the damage not long after the winds subsided.

"Where it rained, it's leaking down into the clubhouse and the ceilings are getting ruined," Preston said. "It's a nightmare."

Preston said she took refuge from the storm in her basement, but didn't anticipate the damage she witnessed afterward.

"I've notified the insurance company and they told us to batten it down as good as we could and that they would talk to us tomorrow."

Clifton Reynolds owns Renovations in Energy, a business that focuses on home improvements.

"It's a mess," Reynolds said. "We just got set up here last December, expanding from our previous location and then this happens."

Reynolds said he had contacted his insurance company, as well as the landlord who owns the rental property.

"We need to get a roof up as soon as we can. We have a lot of tools inside we need protected from the weather."

Reynolds vowed to reopen the business as soon as possible.

"For sure," he said. "Reality hasn't really set in yet, but we will be back."

Energy Police Sgt. Rob Terry was attempting to assess the damage to his community.

"We had some kind of weather event, either a tornado or microburst that spanned several buildings, as well as trees and power lines," he said. "We don't have any fatalities or injuries, though, so we were pretty lucky."

Terry said firefighters and work crews were working hard to clear Illinois 148 of debris and reopen the route to traffic to both the north and south.

"We're also going to try to protect these businesses (that were damaged) the best that we can," he said. "The Renovations building and the storage building next to it were hit the hardest."

Herrin Police Chief Quinn Laird said he's not sure how extensive the damage is just yet. It would be more evident Wednesday morning.

"We do know that there were some houses damaged over on McVicker Drive and also some damage to the golf course," he said. "We're still assessing the situation and will figure out just how bad it is as soon as we can."