(CENTRALIA, IL) — Thousands in our listening area woke up without power Sunday morning after violent storms ripped through the area bringing down trees and power lines. Sheets of rain left much of Centralia’s west side impassable as storm drains struggled to keep up with more than 1-inch of rain that fell in a short time just after 4 a.m. Other areas of town were impassable due to trees brought down across roadways by winds that reached approximately 70 miles per hour. Kell firefighters responded to the intersection of Routes 37 and 161 when two vehicles struck a tree that had blown across the road. One of the drivers veered to avoid the tree and instead struck a power pole. The driver of the first vehicle had to be extricated from the vehicle and was subsequently airlifted to a St. Louis area hospital for treatment. Ameren, Tri-County, and public works departments continued working well into the afternoon to clear power lines and roadways of fallen trees and to restore power to utility customers.