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Metro-east town of Gillespie hit hard by Friday storms

The front wall of the historic Gillespie High School gym is gone after strong storms pushed through Macoupin County, Illinois Friday evening. The front wall of the historic Gillespie High School gym is gone after strong storms pushed through Macoupin County, Illinois Friday evening. Image Source: Coal Country Times via Facebook

   Strong storms swept though the metro St. Louis area Friday evening, bringing strong winds, lightning, heavy rain and even some unconfirmed reports of tornadoes.

   One metro-east town is heartbroken after the storm did serious damage to a structure with historic and sentimental significance.

   Gillespie High School sustained heavy damage in the storms.  The concession stand along the athletic fields was wiped out.  The roof was peeled back on the building housing the weight room.  But most upsetting was the damage to the school's historic gymnasium.  The building was heavily damaged in the storm, one brick wall crumbling when part of the roof was ripped away.

   The Macoupin County emergency manager is reporting that 25 to 30 homes in the Gillespie area sustained roof damage.  Several large trees were knocked down, taking many power lines with them. 

   Power is out to the entire town of Gillespie and much of the area surrounding the town about 50 miles northeast of St. Louis.

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