Residents in Gillespie woke up to the tornado siren sounding shortly after 6 a.m. on Friday as a threat of severe weather quickly rolled through the area. The strong, sudden storm was short lived but left behind evidence of its destruction.
Lumpy’s Bar and Grill in downtown Gillespie had part of an exterior free-standing wall toppled although the Village of Dorchester appears to have suffered the brute of the damage as the community is littered with tree limbs.
The wall at Lumpy’s served as the boundary of the planned beer garden but turned into a pile of bricks spreading across the sidewalk and a few parking spaces in the business district. Cleanup was underway at Lumpy’s by 8 a.m. with Mike Ranger Excavating on-scene.
In Dorchester, residents were seen cleaning up their yards early Friday morning and chainsaws were heard sectioning off larger branches. Some toppled branches fell into utility lines and Ameren was on-scene restoring service to the area.
Ameren Illinois reported 134 residents in Macoupin County without service at 7:15 a.m., but that number has increased to 217 at 10:30 a.m. North Mac school district delayed the start time of school on Friday to 9 a.m.
More rain is in the forecast for Friday afternoon and Saturday as a cold front moves into the area. The St. Louis station of the U.S. National Weather Service warned on their social media page that “any storm that becomes severe will be capable of producing hail up to the size of golf balls and wind gusts to 70 mph. A few tornadoes will also be possible.”