Severe storms spare countyPublished 12:53pm Thursday, December 27, 2012
Despite multiple reports of tornadic events and straight-line winds around the state Christmas Day, Tallapoosa County emerged from the severe weather unscathed.
“We were worried about it, too,” said Joe Paul Boone, director of the Tallapoosa County Emergency Management Agency. “We were here late last night and into early this morning.”
Boone said the EMA received no damage reports in the county as of Wednesday morning. And as reported by The Eclectic Observer, neighboring Elmore County also saw “no damage” along the storm track, despite what the National Weather Service called a “strong signature” of tornadic rotation in the storm.
“The storm apparently lifted up at the county line because they said we had a strong signature,” said Elmore County Deputy EMA Director David Brunson. “Guess the Lord spared us on that one because that’s the only explanation we’ve got.”
The Elmore County EMA did report pea-sized hail in some areas as well as a fallen tree on Balm Road around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, likely due to rain and wind, Brunson said.
The debris there, near Santuck, was cleaned up by Santuck firefighters and the Elmore County highway department.
Boone said volunteer Red Cross workers were on hand at the Tallapoosa County EMA office Christmas night and that several county residents sought shelter in the Dadeville courthouse, city hall in Alexander City and the Alexander City Police Department.
“The weather service had been telling us for a few days that the potential was out there, and there was bad weather all around us,” Boone said. “But a lot of that weather moved through. We were lucky, I guess.”
Others sought refuge in Elmore County as well. Nancy Myers, owner of Myers Acres Mobile Home Park destroyed in the April 27, 2011 outbreak, said more than 20 people took refuge in the storm shelter built on the site.
Myers’ husband, Bill, built the shelter by burying a shipping container underground near the one-time disaster zone where four Eclectic residents were killed and many more injured.
Boone said he thought the rapidly cooling temperatures Tuesday night spared the county from destruction.
“The temperature cooled down, and that made a world of difference,” Boone said. “The temperatures were warmer in South Alabama … and they had damage down in those counties. We’re just really fortunate we didn’t have any reports.”
The Outlook received several reports of snow flurries and sleet Wednesday morning as precipitation-producing weather continued to move through the area. Showers are expected again in the area beginning Friday evening, when there is a 70 percent chance of showers and a low of 46 degrees. Saturday also has a 30 percent chance of showers, with a high of 53 degrees and a low of 31 degrees.
David Goodwin, managing editor of The Eclectic Observer, contributed to this report.