We survived Hurricane Ivan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Been there, done that and got the T-shirt to prove it.

Surviving Hurricane Ivan was a feat within itself.

Even though no lives were taken by the strong storm's raging winds that sent debris soaring through the air and drowning rain, someone very well could have suffered a premature death.

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I believe in the power of prayer and there's no doubt in my mind that God protected everyone in the tri-county area. God works in mysterious ways, but there was nothing puzzling about God's will to keep us all safe.

Crenshaw County was fortunate to only receive minimal damage, nothing comparable to Hurricane Opal, but other areas throughout the state weren't as fortunate.

Butler County was one of the hardest hit areas in Alabama and per my bosses' request, this writer stayed in Greenville to "stay safe." Nothing was safe about Greenville.

The wind kicked up around 2 a.m. Thursday morning and continued to strengthen on through the early hours of the morning. Waterlogged trees swayed with the powerful wind until they couldn't withstand the pressure any longer, eventually snapping. As a result, the power snapped as well.

Throughout the morning trees, roofs, power poles and lines and transformers plummeted to the ground. By mid-afternoon folks began fleeing their shelters to survey the damage. It was worse than anyone imagined.

Driving through town was a nightmare. Trees, power lines and poles blocked just about every roadway and there was nothing that could be done. In order for recovery work to begin winds have to be less than 30 mph and at the time gusts were still exceeding 50 mph.

Some crews could be seen cutting trees from the road, as long as power lines weren't in play, and to tell the truth there weren't many that fit those qualifications. So it was sit and wait until Friday morning.

Heading back to Luverne later Thursday afternoon to survey the damage was also quite an accomplishment. Many roads were closed making the drive very interesting. Dodging tree limbs, cruising under downed power lines and fighting the still strong wind probably wasn't the best idea, but a journalists' work never ends.

Surprisingly, Crenshaw County wasn't hit nearly as hard. There were some downed trees, roof and structural damage to homes and businesses and power outages, but all-in-all the county was spared.

Cleanup crews and rescue personnel worked hard throughout the weekend to get most of the power restored and roads re-opened. Their efforts should be commended. Once again the county teamed together in times of need and made it through.

God surely did bless us all.

Adam Prestridge is editor of The Luverne Journal. He can be reached at

335-3541 or

via email at adam.prestridge@ luvernejournal.com