BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Crews were working to restore power for thousands of homes after a series of storms hit Central and North Central Illinois. Ameren Illinois activated an emergency operations center Saturday evening to resolve the outages. By Sunday morning, more than 12,500 customers were without power. Sirens were sounded in dozens of communities ahead of winds reported over 70 mph. Many shared menacing photos of the approaching storm, which delayed the fireworks in Mendota by an hour. Storms hitting multiple counties brought strong winds and hail.