County escapes Nate relatively unscathed

Published 3:40 pm Thursday, October 12, 2017

Butler County escaped this weekend’s storm system relatively unscathed, despite reports of possible tornado-like activity and a damaged mobile home within Greenville.

Tropical Storm Nate, and eventually Hurricane Nate, was predicted to dump strong winds, rain and possible tornados across a swath of Alabama Saturday and Sunday. 

Butler County EMA director Kris Ware said that, in her overall assessment of the storm system’s potential, the county was spared relative to the fates that neighboring counties saw.

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Despite that fact, there were a few worrisome moments for Butler County residents.

“We did have a possible tornado touchdown in Butler County off of Highway 31 North,” Ware said. “I sent photos of the damage to the National Weather Service in Mobile, and they will come up and assess it and tell us whether it was a tornado.  It could’ve been straight-line winds or an F0 on the tornado scale.  We just don’ t know until the weather service gets here to check it out.

“There was a house on 31 North, and it went across a field and cut through to 75 South.  I dealt minor damage to a couple of homes and knocked down several trees. You can actually see the path that it took into the woods.”

In addition, a tree fell on a mobile home in Greenville and completely crushed its bedroom.  Though the room had an occupant at the time, miraculously no one was harmed.

“The tree fell from the strong winds,” Ware said.

“The family who owned the mobile home said that their son was sleeping in the bedroom, but he was not harmed.  He just had a few scratches.”

The National Weather Service predicted roughly 3 inches of rain for the Butler County region.  Some parts of the county received as little as 2 inches, while others experienced as much as 6 inches. 

The most common issue facing Butler County residents this weekend arrived in the form of power outages that blanketed the area.

Alabama Power reported approximately 1,240 customers across Greenville and Georgiana were without service in Butler County this weekend.

Pioneer Electric reported just under 2,500 customers without power primarily across Butler Dallas and Lowndes counties. In both cases, restoration efforts began as quickly as they could be safely carried out.

All in all, Ware said that Butler County fared much better than its neighbors.

“There was very minimum damage for the size of our area,” she said.

“No one was hurt, and only one home was completely lost.  Definitely, we were spared.”