Heavy rains turned into heavy runoff Wednesday. The water collected in low-lying areas such as the above railroad crossing in downtown Alexander City. No major damage was reported around the county from the storm system. | Kenneth Boone

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Early-morning gully washer

Published 12:13pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

Storms sweep across Alabama Wednesday

The skies opened up Wednesday morning dropping some 1 to 2 inches of rain across the county as storms surged through the area.

But it appears that Tallapoosa County got little more than high winds and rainfall during the early morning storm.

“We had several trees and a couple of power lines down throughout the county,” said Sheriff Jimmy Abbett. “We also had a church on Beulah Lane that reported some minor roof damage.”

As of late Wednesday afternoon, Abbett reported that there had been no injuries reported and that downed power lines had been addressed.

Alexander City also saw few reports of damage, except for a tree that fell on a power line on Hillabee Street.

Michael Garrison, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham, said that many of the downed trees were a result of high winds.

“There were consistent 35-45 mile per hour gusts out ahead of the thunderstorms,” Garrison said. “The southerly winds that were out in front of the storm system were pretty gusty.”

Garrison said Tallapoosa County faired better than other areas of the state.

“Most of the damage was concentrated in the northwest part of the state including counties such as Marion, Winston and Fayette,” Garrison said.

No injuries have been reported, but Garrison said teams will be hitting the ground to determine if the storm system spawned any tornados.

“We are sending a couple of folks to look at the damage in Winston County – that is probably the only area we are uncertain whether it experienced straight-line winds or a tornado,” Garrison said.

The system also caused a lot of flooding in urban areas, though none was reported in Tallapoosa County, Garrison said.

Meteorologists expect a cold front to move into the area following the storm system’s departure.

“This cold front should swing through (Wednesday night) and clear out (rain) completely,” Garrison said. “Winds may be gusty, but they should be nothing like Wednesday morning.”

The weekend might see a touch of rain, but Garrison said forecasts aren’t calling for much.

“There is a weak system coming through Saturday, but it looks like if we see precipitation, we won’t see much,” Garrison said. “Otherwise, we are not seeing much rain on the forecast until the middle of next week, when another light system is expected to come through.”

Temperatures should remain near normal for the time of year, Garrison said, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s.