Lightning, fallen trees create havoc here

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 1, 2014

While the majority of damage from this week’s severe weather activity came in the form of flooded roadways, a number of smaller incidents made life difficult for local residents.

According to Susan Harris, director of the Covington County Emergency Management Agency, first responders were called to five homes over the course of the two-day weather event.

Andalusia Fire Department Captain Tim Grimes said none of the incidents responded to by his department resulted any serious damage or injury, but were enough to scare the houses’ occupants.

“We had a tree fall on a power line on Ridgecrest Drive Tuesday,” Grimes said. “We also had lightning strike a water meter at a home on Devonwood Drive and it fried all of the electronics inside the home. Just scared them. We had a call Monday that lightning struck a home on Carlton Street, but everything turned out OK there.”

Harris said homes on County Road 77, near Onycha, and Adams Pond Road (Co. Rd. 331) were also damaged Monday night by weather, but neither incident resulted in injury.

Early Wednesday morning, Opp Fire Department also responded to the scene of a vehicle fire, Harris said. The SUV was fully involved upon OPD’s arrival, and is also believed to have been struck by lightning.

Also Wednesday morning, just after 9, Opp residents in the Country Club Estates subdivision were evacuated from their homes after authorities said lightning struck a gas line on Fairway Drive.

“We asked people to leave several homes, just to be safe,” Opp Chief of Police McDonald said Wednesday morning. McDonald called the evacuation “a precaution” taken while Alabama Gas District employees worked to repair the damage.

Countywide, there were no reports of serious injury or loss due to the severe weather.