10 Years Later: Remembering May 8th - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

10 Years Later: Remembering May 8th

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CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- Where were you on May 8, 2009? We asked News 3 viewers to share their memories of the derecho that struck southern Illinois. 

 I was getting ready for work and ran to the basement with my dogs. It seemed to go on a long time. Three huge trees came down. First fell beside the house, Second fell through front enclosed porch just missed the living room.The third blocked the back door. People driving by said it was worst damage on Reed Station Road. I'll never forget it.

We had 8 trees in our house and one almost landed on my mom. We had no power for almost 2 weeks straight. But our neighborhood would use our generators and have neighborhood grill outs

My parents lost 30 mature trees in their backyard. They appeared to just be pushed over. No power for over 2 weeks.

 I was at work Herrin Fire Dept,watching the bay doors breathing in and out and constant radio communications with the fire fighters till our tower was blown down. 

(MORE: 10 Years: "The Derecho" still fresh in many minds)

My kids brand new wooden swing set and our above ground pool was all damaged from this storm.

I was in Fourth Grade at school, and I remember they had us lined up against the lockers with our heads covered for hours. 

I was giving birth to my daughter when the power went out at Carbondale Memorial. The generators were hooked up to the computers in the labor room and there was only one lamp for light. Blinds were closed. Nurse was fanning me with an empty epidural kit. 

When I drove home that day, I drove by a semi I had passed earlier, over turned on the on ramp of 57. Got home and every street in Herrin had trees on it except mine. Definitely had someone protecting me and my family that day.

I was at work in Carbondale on the strip. I watched as the roof was being damaged at the train station...hoping and praying the glass window front did not blow in on me. 

(MORE: 'It was just unbelievable': Residents, leaders, reporters recall super derecho)

After the first round stopped, I was able to get back to my office in West Frankfort. Then the 2nd round hit! I hid under my desk, in the dark, terrified because I could hear the roof rattling and shaking; thinking any minute it was coming off. 

Rt 13 from Marion to Carterville had a little debris on it, but it was drivable. What was crazy was seeing all the damage to the electric and telephone poles, and the business signs! When we got to Crainville, Main St. was totally unpassable due to trees down everywhere.

oh yes, no power for a week, grilling out for a week cooking up what was in the freezer and helped feed our neighbor's. Used solar lights to light to house at night.

I was working on the 2nd floor of the Communications Building at SIU. I knew we were in for some strong storms that day, so I kept checking for any warnings. Our weather radios alerted, so as a member of the safety team, I was instructing people to head to the basement. No one believed me because it was still sunny. I spent a good deal of time just telling people to humor me, this was NOT a drill and to get downstairs. As I stood at the top of the basement stairs, directing traffic and doing one last pass, I marveled at the howling wind, the relentless rain, young trees bending nearly in half, the center of the inner courtyard had leaves swirling up like a vortex, and then all of a sudden, one of those walls of glass imploded, spraying tiny shards of glass all over the floor, now exposing me to the elements. The front glass doors started to shake and slam because of the wind, I gave up waiting on people to make their way to the basement, and I sought shelter. 

My fiance lived in Carterville and a tree fell on her car. I rode a bicycle to her place the next day and almost the whole way i had to dodge downed three, powerlines etc.

I came home for a visit from Raleigh North Carolina. I got to see the high waters up to the road. I had just missed it.

(MORE: 'Seared into my memory': SIU official reflects on May 8th)

 We had 15 trees down in our yard, two on our house, one on our garage and three across the drive. We had no power but were able to eventually get to Harrisburg and fill our gas cans so we could run our generator. The next morning, about a dozen friends came with chain saws and set to work. 

Working at a bank in Murphysboro, we went to the vault. Had some trees down & shingles missing but my house was spared. Had no power for 8 days, a cold shower, candles & portable radio is still doable!

No damage to my home, but 5 days with no power. Thank goodness it was cool after the storm!

Standing at the ground floor picture window of SIUC University Housing, Washington Square D (behind the Rec Center and facing East toward Good Samaritan House) - 200+ year old trees start coming UP OUT OF THE GROUND, roots and all, as if in slow motion. It was like something from a movie. Very surreal!!

We we're camping at Rend Lake with family. We were really fortunate because the camp ground never lost power and we were allowed to stay until power was restored at home.

I was standing in the hallway of North Side Primary Center in Herrin as we comforted many frightened kindergarteners and assured them everything was going to be fine. It looked like a war zone as we left with so many trees blocking roads. Thankful no one was hurt in the school.

I was getting ready to go to a birthday party. Suddenly I saw all the trees bend flat to the ground. Went to the basement to wait it out. No power for 5 days. Needless to say, party cancelled.

I was at work in an office across from the County Administrative Building in Marion, IL. The Admin building was under construction at the time. There were only steel beams in place. We watched as sheets of metal and other building materials were picked up and carried away as if they were weightless. The trees beside our office were snapped off and pushed over like dominoes. 

It was the day before my wedding in Anna. I was trying to get to reception hall to help food prep, I also had my 4 month old daughter with me. just as I got there, the town sirens went off and we ran to take cover in the bathroom. We lost power. My in laws live in Christopher & no one was able to cross rt 13. So rehearsal was the next day before the wedding.

Stranded in Carterville. I saw the wind blowing sideways between the houses and all the debris. The oddest feeling I have ever felt.

Working at Harrisburg McDonald's, we stayed open super late (before the days of 24 hrs) because we were once off the only restaurants with power, we had a full lobby well into the night.

I was at work in Logan Park and it took me 3 1/2 hours for a 45 min drive home. Trees down everywhere and lots if power outages between work and home.

I was in the basement of Shryock Auditorium at SIU where I was supposed to be graduating with a Bachelor of Science. My wife and son were trapped somewhere else and, due the the building walls and storm, we were unable to communicate with each other. 
After the storm finally passed, we were brought into the auditorium where the speaker said “I now pronounce you graduated” and everyone left. 
It took over 2 hours to drive from campus back to our house in Cambria.

 Lost 13 pine trees that surrounded our back yard in Marion. Fortunately only 1 clipped the corner of the house.

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