Weather wreaks havoc in county

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 8, 2003

An fierce band of thunderstorms containing intense lighting rumbled through Covington County late Monday afternoon translating into isolated trouble spots in the county, according to Covington County Emergency Management Agency Director Susan Carpenter.

"There have not been widespread reports of damage or power outages," said Carpenter on Monday afternoon. "We have had one report of a power outage in Gantt, some flash flooding, ponds flooding across roads, a couple of trees being down and a lot of standing water on roads."

Lightning also made its presence known during the storms as Carpenter there had been at least four reports of direct hits from lightning, with lightning also apparently a factor in scattered fires in the county.

She said she was only able to verify one fire that she was aware of initially, and this was a shed fire in the Sanford community.

Carpenter said all of the report data had not been compiled as of Monday afternoon, but said the agency would likely have a more detailed list of storm-related damage and problems possibly by today.

Lee Wallace of the Andalusia Fire Department said that as of 4:30 p.m. Monday, his department had responded to two fires, one involving the smell of smoke resulting from a possible lightning strike at a residence on 8th Avenue in Andalusia and the other on Henderson Street involving the smell of smoke due to an apparent lightning strike.

Wallace said neither of the calls involved a serious fire and that no injuries were reported at either scene.

Chief Paul Brackins of the Sanford Fire Department did confirm the fire involving a shed on Catalina Bridge Road in the Sanford community which resulted in a total loss to the structure.

He said it appeared the fire was due to a lightning strike, and he said there were no injuries.

"When we arrived (at the locale of the shed), the structure was fully engulfed and the shop was a total loss," said Brackins.

At least one dam structure was reported to have suffered damage in the County with several wrecks also reported during the periods where rainfall was particularly heavy.