Storms rip through area, cause damage

Published 9:14 pm Saturday, April 27, 2019

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Severe thunderstorms ripped through Butler County last Thursday night and early Friday morning knocking down trees, but damaging very few structures.

Local law enforcement as well as fire and emergency management personnel met last Thursday afternoon to prepare for any storm-related events. Forecasters said strong tornadoes were a possibility with the system as it made its way across to Alabama from Texas.

In neighboring Mississippi, schools and businesses closed early ahead of the storms. Several tornadoes were reported in Mississippi and Alabama.

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The Butler County Emergency Management Agency handed out several dozen weather radios ahead of the storms. The radios went quickly.

In Butler County, the first warnings for severe storms came around 8 p.m. Thursday and continued through the night. Early Friday morning, multiple warnings were issued as high winds and heavy rain pummeled the area.

Volunteer fire departments from around the county responded to calls of trees across roadways and on power lines.

The Butler County Road Department and various fire departments used heavy equipment and chainsaws to clear trees.

Several roads also had to be closed Friday due to flooding temporarily. Those roads included Ashley Road, Bowden Bridge Road and Boswell Road at Alabama Hwy. 106. Ashley and Boswell roads reopened Saturday and officials then closed North Garland Road. Bowden Bridge and North Garland roads reopened Monday morning after they were inspected.

Several accidents were reported on I-65 during the storm, but no injuries were life threatening.