#039;Bill#039; causes slight damage

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Once again, Covington County escaped the worst of bad weather, with the only fringes of Tropical Storm Bill lashing the countryside. Around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, tornado warning sirens in Covington County went off as the E-911 service was alerted by the National Weather Service that the county was under a tornado warning, indicating that a tornado had been seen on radar. The tornado warning ceased at 4:15 a.m.

According to one source, no actual funnel cloud was spotted in the county, although several residents said they heard hailstones striking their homes.

A representative of E-911 said that there was little storm damage reported and that was limited to trees down in three locations in the county, all of which were cleared by 7 a.m. Heavy rains continued until about 9 a.m. tapering off into a drizzle soon after, then stopping long enough for a brief glimpse of blue sky behind storm clouds. Despite the rain-free afternoon in Andalusia, the entire county remained under a flood and flash flood watch for most of the day, due largely to the saturation of the ground from the previous night's storms and the fact that 2 to 4 more inches were expected throughout Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Several moving vehicle accidents were reported to E-911 throughout Monday's storms, but no serious injuries were reported other than the truck driver whose 18-wheeler overturned in River Falls (See related story).

Covington County was not the only area facing tornadic activity, with tornado warnings issued

throughout the Florida Panhandle and into Coffee and Dale County as well.

Floods and flash floods were predicted for the Brewton and Mobile areas, with Murder Creek nearing its flood stage of 22 feet. Besides Covington, Conecuh, Monroe, Baldwin, Butler, Wilcox and Crenshaw counties were also placed under a flood watch.

According to the National Weather Service, the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill were expected to move east of the region, but stormy weather is expected to continue the rest of the week.