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Prep for more severe weather in Central Illinois Friday

The National Weather Service is telling us to be ready for more threatening weather today (Friday).  

Thunderstorms rolled through Central Illinois Thursday, damaging  trees and power lines.  The heavy rain added yet more moisture to already saturated grounds, but damage reports weren’t too severe.

Meteorologists say now’s the time to get yourself in the severe weather mode. Gino Izzo says “it’s about preparation not reaction.”

Today’s forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms during the day and an 80 percent chance at night. Isolated tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail will be possible.

The chance of thunderstorms drops to 60 percent Saturday, and the weather is expected to be partly sunny Sunday and Monday.

The storms Thursday through Saturday are expected to drop a total of 2 to 3 inches of rain, prompting concerns about flash.

Watseka Public Works crews and fire department personnel were clearing some trees and power lines last night.  North 6th Street and W. North Street had debris on the roadway.  A semi was blown over on I-57 north of Gilman.  Winds were clocked at 56 mph.

Iroquois County Amateur Radio Club members were activated with weather spotting detail last evening.

Thursday’s storms toppled a tree 16 to 30 inches in diameter on Illinois 116 near Minonk about 3:30 p.m. About 15 minutes later, a 50 mph gust was reported in El Paso.

Ameren reported about 15,000 customers without power statewide late Thursday night, but most of the outages were in the Springfield and East St. Louis areas. Local outages were 123 customers in Logan County, 60 in DeWitt County, 45 in Tazewell County, 23 in Woodford and nine in McLean County.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch from 1 p.m. Thursday through Saturday evening

High temperatures are expected to be about 80 degrees Friday and Saturday and about 68 degrees Sunday and Monday.

94.1 FM, WGFA