Storms pound county

Published 12:21 am Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sunday’s severe weather damaged more than 50 structures and 20 vehicles in the Onycha area.

Susan Harris, county emergency management agency director, said the storm hit Covington County at approximately 3 p.m., bringing a “tremendous” amount of golf-ball sized hail and straight-line winds.

“We had a report of a funnel cloud in the area that a citizen called in, but Mobile Weather said they did not see any rotation on the radar, and I couldn’t find a path where a tornado had touched down,” Harris said. “What I did see was the most hail I’ve ever seen in a thunderstorm – ever. It was quite amazing.”
In the area of Jackson Town Road and Old School Road, the damage was significant.
Harris said by 10 a.m. Monday, she’d documented 40 homes with minor damage, seven with major damage, four barns destroyed and 20 vehicles with hail damage.

Straight-line winds are credited with destroying the barns, she said.

“I’ve also gotten reports of damage throughout the county, including the Pleasant Home and Libertyville area,” she said. “As for the number of vehicles damaged, I expect that number to rise. I’ve talked with the local body shops about reporting what they get in, because a lot of people will just report it to the insurance agency.”

Harris said at present, there is no FEMA assistance available to help repair the damages.

“But there are damage reports being taken throughout the state,” she said. “We weren’t the only ones affected by the storm. If the (damage) total from all the counties combined gets to a certain dollar figure, assistance might be given.”

Harris asked those who have not yet reported damages to call the local EMA office at 334-428-2670.