Brad Horton had no idea what had happened.
The Montrose resident had attended a movie in Effingham Thursday night. While it was apparent after the movie that it had rained, Horton said he was still surprised by what he saw as he approached Montrose.
”The lights you would normally see were all out and all you could see was a bunch of emergency lights,” he said.
As it turned out, the emergency lights were there to keep motorists from running over a grain bin that had collapsed onto U.S. 40 near the four-way stop in Montrose. Chief Chris Overbeck of the Montrose Fire Protection District said firefighters were notified about 10:30 p.m. to provide traffic control for workers removing tangled metal from the roadway — a process that took several hours.
Overbeck said Montrose firefighters were also called to a burning tree in Jasper County southeast of Montrose Thursday night. A power line fell on the tree igniting it.
The damage in Montrose, as well as Dieterich and the Island Grove community east of Dieterich, was caused by a severe storm that hit Effingham about 9:30 p.m., bringing with it torrential rains, lightning and thunder, as well as high winds.
Doug Long, the Jasper County EMA coordinator said there was little to do in the county other than clean up the damage caused by the torrential rains and heavy winds.
”We heard about a couple sheds blowing down and a couple power lines falling, buy they’re pretty much all back up now,” he said. “It’s just a matter of cleaning it up before the next one.”
Ameren Illinois reported that nearly 28,000 power customers lost power as a result of the storm. While the bulk of the outages were in communities well west of the Effingham, areas, including Montrose, were without power until early Friday morning.