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WJBD - Local News - Severe Weather Crosses South Central Illinois, Alma Hardest Hit

Some of the flooding on the south side of Alma off Route 37.

One of the large hail stones that pummeled the Alma area in the early Saturday evening storm.

The rainbow after the storm. Ciara Stone caught this shot just outside of Salem.

Severe Weather Crosses South Central Illinois, Alma Hardest Hit

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The Alma area was pounded by heavy rain and hail as big as golf balls and lemons when a severe thunderstorm formed over the area and remained in place for about an hour early Saturday evening.  The storm prompted the National Weather Service to issue a severe thunderstorm warning for northern Marion County.  

The storm weakened as it eventually slowly pushed to the southeast and dropped dime size hail over an area east of Salem.   As the storm regained strength, another severe thunderstorm warning was issued for southeastern Marion County.  Hail the size of quarters was reported along the Route 161 extension.   

The heavy rains also caused road flooding problems.  Alma Police Chief Cary Henken reported six to eight inches of water on Route 37 on the south side of Alma and water running down Route 37 throughout the community as the storm finally began to lift.  The Marion County Sheriff's Department urged motorists to slow down on both Route 37 north of Salem to Alma and U.S. 50 from the east side of Salem to Banister Road due to water on the pavement.   

The storm is believed to have started a fire that burned a Tri-County Electric Pole on the Route 161 Extension west of Foxville Road. Kell Firemen were called to the scene.   

Henken reported receiving several reports of vehicles being damaged by the large hail in the Alma area.   The Alma Weather Station reported 1.18 inches of rain from the storm, but some areas are believed to have received considerably more rain.  

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