High winds, tornado leave path of damage

A chicken house in Hackleburg is pictured with the roof blown off due to high winds.

MARION COUNTY — Marion County was hit by severe weather last week, resulting in the Shottsville community being hit by an EF-1 tornado.
According to Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Terrell, damage was felt across the county, even outside of the tornado’s track, due to high winds on both Wednesday and Friday of last week.
On Wednesday, March 1, heavy storms passed through Marion County causing heavy rains and high winds, giving Marion County its first brush with falling tree limbs.
The Shottsville community was hit the hardest by the EF-1 tornado, but other communities were also affected by the twister.
“There was some damage that might have continued up into Hodges. It was a 10 mile track. That was what the National Weather Service measured,” said Terrell.
Terrell stated while there were no major injuries or deaths reported from the storms, there were several properties and power lines damaged.
Every community in Marion County reported tree limbs falling and blocking roads as well as damaging power lines.
“We had a few houses that sustained some damage and some barns and shops that sustained some side-wall damage. The big story here was the tree and power line damage.”
Following Wednesday’s stormy night, Friday featured another storm that quickly blew through Marion County and left many without power after high winds further damaged power lines and property.
Many in Marion County suffered major power outages that lasted for days with some gaining power back as late as this past Monday.
Alabama Power Communications Specialist Anthony Cook said approximately 303,000 people in the State of Alabama were without power as a result of last week’s storm damage.
“It was a significant storm that had a significant impact on our footprint in terms of the customers we serve,” said Cook.
“We are working diligently and quickly while being as safe as possible to get this power restored. We know how important power is to our customers.”
Cook stated that power issues are to be expected with high winds.
“We had a lot of gusty winds last week, and that took down some tree limbs which causes power outages as tree limbs come in contact with our equipment,” said Cook.
Terrell stated there was help from every law enforcement agency and first responders in removing tree limbs from roads.
Terrell also stated 9-1-1 dispatchers were working very hard to help the incredible amount of callers on Wednesday in the aftermath of the storm.
Terrell made special mention of volunteers who helped during and after the storms last week.
“When we have events like this, people pull together. Those volunteers especially are doing it with no compensation, just to help the community out,” said Terrell.
“You can’t ever say enough about them. Every time we have these events, it’s always a big topic of discussion. Our county pulls together, and people come together and help each other. They did it again this week.”

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