BLOOMINGTON — Central Illinois is waking up to downed power lines and large trees after overnight thunderstorms brought funnel clouds, driving rain, hail and high winds that toppled large trees and power lines.

About 130 Corn Belt Energy customers and 309 Ameren customers were without electricity at 7 a.m.

More thunderstorms are possible later today, although they are not expected to be as severe. 

Lincoln officials reported a possible tornado touchdown about 12:15 a.m. near Lincoln High School, but it remained unconfirmed later Thursday morning. National Weather Service officials at Lincoln said daylight will allow a better assessment.

A wind gust of 83 mph was reported at 2:04 a.m. in Watseka, according to the weather service.

Ameren reported more than 16,000 customers without power at 2 a.m. in a stretch roughly from the Mississippi River at Alton northeast into Iroquois County and Champaign counties and north to Galesburg and LaSalle-Peru. Corn Belt Energy reported 636 customers without power in Champaign, DeWitt, Ford, Macon and McLean counties. 

A tree fell on a house in the 1300 block of South Linden Street in Normal about 1 a.m., and large trees and limbs made several streets impassable in Bloomington-Normal.

Weather service reports indicated funnel clouds were seen aloft at 12:43 a.m. a mile south of Weston and at 12:56 a.m. along U.S. 24 near Fairbury, but there was no damage associated with those reports.

A wind gust of 58 mph was reported at 1:09 a.m. at Central Illinois Regional Airport, Bloomington. A 70 mph wind speed was reported at 1:47 a.m. in Piper City, and similar speeds came a couple of hours earlier in Jacksonville and Springfield.

At least two vehicles were blown off of Interstate 55 about 12:40 a.m. between Lincoln and Atlanta, and the fire station and several houses were damaged in Cisco in Piatt County, weather service reports indicated.

Hopedale reported hail 0.88 of an inch in diameter and 50 mph winds at 11:14 p.m. Hail measuring 1.75 inches fell about that same time near Havana.

This story will be updated.

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Contact Roger Miller at (309) 820-3233. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_rmiller


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