BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Herb Simmons is the St. Clair County EMA 911 director. He said the agency began preparations for the potential of severe weather days earlier.

The county remained in communication with the National Weather Service and was prepared to share warnings and alerts with residents through social media and a system known as CodeRED.

Belleville resident Terry Gallaher heard the weather warnings. He left his house Friday to run a quick errand but ended up in his SUV underneath an overhang as hail began to fall.

“We had that clap of thunder and then kaboom,” Gallaher said. “All of a sudden, here it came.”

As of Friday evening, there were no widespread reports of damage in the county. Residents are encouraged to call 911 if they spot a downed power line.

“It could be a live power line, and we want to get the power company out there,” Simmons said. “Our fire departments are always good about getting out and securing scenes.”