Saturday storms bring wind, outages

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Trees were downed across the county Saturday. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Trees were downed across the county Saturday. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Many residents were without power after severe thunderstorms swept through Covington County Saturday evening, producing high, straight-line winds and rain.

The storm downed many trees, Covington County Assistant EMA Director Alan Syler said. Locally, large trees were reported down at LBWCC, and on College Avenue in Andalusia.

Syler said two barns in the Fleeta area sustained damage, and damage was reported from County Road 70, near Shoemaker Road.

Syler said there were no injuries reported.

The thunderstorms consisted of mostly lightning and straight-line winds, Syler said.

“They lasted about 30 minutes,” he said.

Covington Electric Cooperative Public Relations Manager Patty Singleton-Seay said during the power outage, the system had about 3,000 members without power.

“There were about 1,400 in Coffee County and 1,600 in Covington County,” Singleton-Seay said. “There were just a few in Crenshaw and Geneva counties.”

Singleton-Seay said the outages started at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“We got everybody back in that could take service,” she said. “There were a few homes whose services were torn down due to trees, and they needed to be repaired.”

Singleton-Seay said CEC crews restored power to all of its customers who could take service at around 3 a.m. Sunday.

Singleton-Seay said Red Level, Gantt and other areas around the county had several power outages, and encouraged all to report any power outages by calling 1-800-239-1193 or click on the “outage viewer” on CEC’s website,

In downtown Andalusia, the awning of Wiggins Barbershop was blown off just off the town square, on South Cotton.

Additionally, there were several limbs down in the Andalusia and Opp areas.

City of Andalusia Electric Operations Manager Jeff Puckett said power was out in several places.

“We had some out by the Corner Market, had some out by the (Andalusia) high school and Fletcher Road,” he said.

Puckett said parts of East Three Notch Street, near the Winn-Dixie area, had power outages, too.

Puckett said power was restored at around 9:30 Saturday night.

Another power company that’s been busy since Saturday is Wiregrass Electric Cooperative.

The company that distributes power in Southeast Alabama still has nearly 400 members without power after the storms destroyed more 30 power poles throughout the service area. Available crews worked 30 hours straight to restore power to 9,000 members. Their work continued Monday morning to restore power to the remaining 500.

According to the National Weather Service, showers are likely today with a possibility of a thunderstorm before 8 a.m. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

Showers and thunderstorms are also likely tonight before 8.

Storms also hit other areas of Alabama, including Dothan in Houston County, where The Dothan Eagle reported Monday that officials compared the storm to Hurricane Opal, calling it one of the worst since.

Near Mobile Bay, where several sailboats capsized during a regatta Saturday, four were still missing after three days of searching.

Two people drowned in the storm, according to state media reports.