(NEWTON/OLNEY) Thousands of regional residents had their electric service cut off after yesterday’s strong storms rolled through Southeastern and South Central Illinois. Severe thunderstorm warnings were posted for nearly all of our regional counties at one time or another. Rainfall totals varied but averaged from a half inch to nearly an inch and a half in some spots. The worst part of the storms were the wind gusts as downstate airports from Harrisburg all the way up to Charleston reported high winds of between 45 and 60 miles-per-hour leading up to the thunderstorms, which resulted in many trees and limbs being blown down, which then resulted in hundreds of power outages throughout the region. Ameren Illinois reported more than 1,000 customers without service, while Norris Electric had several outages as well. The power outages were very widespread, affecting those in the towns of Newton, Olney, and Flora, plus the area south of Effingham, in a good portion of Crawford County, in areas of Clark County, and many affected the the Marion and Jefferson Counties region, among many other isolated spots. While most all power has been restored, there are still some areas without electricity this morning. Norris Electric has some 236 customers without power, mostly in northwestern Crawford County, north of Oblong, plus a few customers near the Lawrence/Richland County line, west of Sumner. Ameren has some 150 customers without power, in the Oblong, Robinson, Bridgeport, Bone Gap, Grayville, and Iuka areas. All areas are expected to have power restored by the end of the day on this Friday, if not sooner. A lot of area damage has been reported to buildings, including homes and many sheds. However, the best news is that as of late last night, no injuries have been reported from yesterday’s storms in both Illinois and Indiana. An exception to that rule was after a semi-truck was blown onto its side by the strong winds, injuring the driver. The State Police report the truck was southbound on Route 130, about 5 miles north of West Liberty, when the strong crosswind blew the truck onto its side and it slid into the east ditch. The 40 year old driver from California was taken to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham for treatment.