Morning storm eases through area

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 3, 2007

A lot of people in Butler County didn’t get much sleep Tuesday morning as severe weather moved through the area.

Sirens sounded several times through the area to warn residents of possible tornados that seemed evident in the swirling mass of clouds that brought early morning thunderstorms to the area.

No tornados were reported on the ground, according to the National Weather Service in Birmingham.

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According to Bob Luman, Butler County Emergency Management Agency director, there were some trees down in the southern part of the county and that contributed to some power outages.

&uot;We had a tree fall over a line between Georgiana and McKenzie and that knocked the power out for a while,&uot; Luman said. &uot;There wasn’t anything really significant that occurred.&uot;

Luman said he believe the weather simply passed over the area.

&uot;I think everything we had going was over us,&uot; he said. &uot;The potential was there for severe weather, but it didn’t materialize.

I believe the trees we did have go over was due to the ground becoming so saturated so quickly, plus we have a lot of dead trees in the area due to the drought.&uot;

He said as he traveled home after the storm, he didn’t see a lot of leaves and other debris on the highway, indicating the storm wasn’t really ground level.

The area did see some heavy rainfall at times. According to the weather equipment at the Mac Crenshaw Municipal Airport, Greenville recorded 1.64 inches of rain between 3 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday. Of that, .91 inches fell at the 3 a.m. hour.

As noted, some lost their power while many slept through the storm.

According to Linda Horn, vice-president for member services, 300 to 400 customers lost their service just after 1 a.m.

&uot;Our linemen were out shortly after that working to get the power back on for those members,&uot; Horn said.

&uot;At 7 a.m. we still had approximately 90 homes still without power and by noon everyone was back on.&uot;

Alabama Power spokeswoman Jan Ellis said their customers also lost power due to the storm.

We had 895 customers lose their power service in Georgiana,&uot; she said. &uot;This happened between 1 and 2 a.m., but we were able to get everyone back on by daybreak.&uot;

While many may think it’s odd to have severe weather in October, Luman pointed out that Alabama can have severe weather year round. In fact, fall is usually the secondary peak for the severe weather season. Historically, November has been an active month for severe weather and tornados in Alabama.

According to the NWS the following were severe weather days in recent memory:

In 2004, 21 tornadoes and widespread wind damage occurred during the early morning hours of Nov. 24 across Central Alabama as a severe line of thunderstorms moved through.

In 2003, a significant line of thunderstorms plowed through Alabama on Nov. 18, resulting mainly in significant straight-line wind damage. Two F1 tornadoes touched down near Tuscaloosa and Oakman.

In 2002, the infamous Veteran’s Day Tornado Outbreak brought 11 tornadoes to parts of North and Central Alabama.

Two F3 tornadoes occurred across Fayette, Walker, and Winston counties.

In 2001, the largest tornado outbreak in Alabama’s recorded history occurred on Nov. 24, 2001 as 34 tornadoes occurred during a 24-hour period.

In 2000, an F4 tornado occurred near Tuscaloosa with the Dec.16 outbreak.

13 additional tornadoes occurred across Alabama on that date.

As for now, there is potential for more severe weather for the rest of the week. The forecast for Wednesday calls for a 30 percent chance of rain but also significantly cooler temperatures. The high temperature on Wednesday and Thursday will be in the high 50s, with the lows in the mid 40s at night.

Take heart though, the weekend forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid 70s.

Luman repeated again the county was lucky Tuesday morning. He also said before the next storm, he hopes the new civil defense siren is up and operational near the Bates House of Turkey.

&uot;We expect the components to be delivered to the contractor by the first or second week of November,&uot; he said. ‘Once they have it, it shouldn’t take long for it to operational.&uot;