Johnston City was planning on a fireworks show but Mother Nature jumped in with her show just a few hours before the Fireworks Spectacular was scheduled to begin.
Just before 7 p.m., a fast-moving line of storms moved through Williamson County, leaving damage in its wake, and forcing several hundred spectators anticipating Johnston City's fireworks to seek shelter.
Much of the damage in Johnston City was centered in the area of the Arrowhead Lake and park where trees were down and porta-potties were knocked over.
Mayor Jim Mitchell said that most of the damage was downed tree limbs, but a transformer did "blow up" near the ball fields where many of the vendors were set up for the celebration.
Just half a block south of the park, several trees were uprooted and one house had a huge tree that crashed across the room, miraculously leaving little structural damage.
"We're OK and that's what is important," said homeowner Sandy Long.
Just a couple block away, a tree snapped, landing across a power line, threatening to ignite a garage. Johnston City firefighters were keeping the structure wet but were waiting for Ameren to cut the power to the lines before they could effectively extinguish the fire.
WSIL-TV meteorologist Jim Rasor said the line of thunderstorms produced wind gusts of 60 miles per hour.
"It looks like almost every county in southern Illinois is reporting wind damage," he said. "The worst of the damage seems to be the northwest corner of Williamson County."
Rasor also said there was one unconfirmed report of a tornado in Williamson County near Veterans Airport.
In Marion, tornado sirens sounded as the twister was allegedly spotted just west of the city.
Mayor Anthony Rinella said it looks as though Marion escaped any major damage.
"We have some trees on houses and limbs on the road, as well as several power lines down, but no injuries have been reported," he said. "That's the main thing. This (damage) is nothing like some other communities in the county had to deal with."
Rinella said winds topped 60 mph and that heavy rains may have briefly flooded some low-lying areas. He added that some of the city's tornado sirens switched to battery power when electricity was cut. Street department crews were at work removing debris from the roadway.
The Miners baseball game at Rent One Park was canceled a little after 7 p.m. and all the light standards were out for up to 30 minutes.
Along Illinois 13, power was working on the south side of the road, but all was out on the north side of the highway. There were also a few traffic signals that were completely out.
Williamson County Emergency Management Agency officials reported that a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado had been located over Cambria and perhaps Herrin.
In Herrin, the Save-A-Lot grocery store on South Park Avenue sustained major damage. Metal was twisted and most of the back side of the building was ripped apart.
A police officer was stationed at the building to prevent looting.
Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi said his city was mostly spared of any major damage.
"We had some minor damage -- mostly trees and limbs that are down.," he said. "We do have two power lines that are down on South and North Washington streets, but Ameren is on the scene working on that right now."
Alongi said city crews were also on the job, clearing tree limbs from the roads. The mayor reminded citizens to haul their yard waste to the curb and the city will have it removed as was the case from the May 30 storm.
In Johnston City, organizers and a handful of spectators watched as $24,000 worth of fireworks lit up the night sky for about 20 minutes.
"This is an utter disappointment," said Grant Mitchell, one of the organizers of the event.
He said the pyrotechnic team had already set up the tubing for the show and was surprised by the storm's arrival.
"You can't reset the tubing once it's done," said Grant.
Mayor Mitchell said he plans to meet with the committee on Friday to begin planning for next year's event.
John D. Homan and Devan Vaughn contributed to this story.