Storms cause outages, road closures in county

Published 12:02 am Thursday, May 1, 2014



Power outages and flooding were rampant throughout the county Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as a result of severe storms that swept through the area.

Covington Electric Cooperative spokesperson Patty Singleton-Seay confirmed there were outages in its service area.

“At the peak (Tuesday) night, we had approximately 1,150 meters out in multiple counties served by CEC,” she said. “As of right now (Wednesday morning), we have 46 meters out with the vast majority of those in Coffee County. Crews are working to restore service as safely and quickly as possible.”

City of Andalusia Electric Operations Manager Jeff Puckett said the city had a power outage Tuesday night that included portions of Prestwood Bridge Road as a result of a burning tree that was struck by lightning.

“We had to remove the tree from the line,” he said. “The outage affected approximately 55 customers. Power was restored in about two hours.”

Opp Utilities General Manager Stacey Parker said the city had a few outages in several areas of town, with crews working through the night, but had no serious damages to report.

“We are still dealing with cable and Internet issues in various parts of town and surrounding service areas this morning, which is typical after the type of weather we had last night,” he said. “The cable/Internet crews are working diligently to get those services restored.”

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro said Wednesday morning that their system held up well since most of the severe weather stayed in Florida last night.

“We had about 60 members of Wiregrass Electric out most of the night, mainly south of Columbia Substation, which is northeast of Dothan,” he said. “We also had outages south of Samson and west of Florala.”

Kimbro said the wind and rain were particularly bad near Florala, and the power supplier had to deal with severe flooding due to many creeks.

“One storm that came through near Florala and Kinston had the potential for a tornado and caused some problems (Tuesday) night.”

Wednesday morning WEC had 43 members without power, with trouble coming from Columbia, Cottonwood and Coffee Springs substations.

Kimbro said that Covington County consumers can keep up with WEC outages in real time at

In River Falls, Mayor Patricia Gunter said there had been no reports of anything “besides muddy roads.”

“We’re blessed,” she said.

A host of roads were closed throughout the county Wednesday.

According to Susan Harris, EMA director, heavy rains in the southeastern portion of the county caused the bulk of problems.

“The south part of the county was hit the hardest with this round.” Harris aid. “This list (of road closures) will expand because the water is continuing to rise.”

As of right now, Harris said Covington County road closures include: Co. Rd. 4, from Natural Bridge to the Geneva County line, Natural Bridge Rd., Glen Chambers Rd., TT Clark Rd., Davis Rd., Walker Rd., Cravey Bridge Rd., Laird Rd., Geohagan Rd., Johnson Qtr. Rd., Co. Rd. 20, North Creek Rd., Co. Rd. 45, north of Enon Ch. Rd., Co. Rd. 89, South End Gopher Ridge Rd., Adams Pond Rd. (dirt road section), Beavers Rd., Sanders Rd., Tubberville Rd. and Babe Lawrence Rd.

In addition to heavy rains clogging roadways, Harris said two homes, both located just south of Opp, were reportedly damaged by the weather, while a vehicle was reported to have been struck by lightening. Harris said EMA officials are also working to assess damage done by golf-ball-sized hail produced by a thunderstorm at approximately 9 this morning.

Additionally, Covington County schools were closed on Wednesday, while Andalusia and Opp City Schools were in session.