WET BUT SAFE: Pike County weathers storms with only one road closing, no outages

Published 8:51 pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014

4-30 Weather 2 web

Vehicles drive down a wet U.S. Highway 231 Tuesday evening. Despite the downpour, most Pike County roads remained open.
Messenger photo | Mona Moore


Pike County survived the first wave of storms relatively unscathed early Tuesday morning, and residents were bracing for more rain and wind by evening.
“As far as the streets and debris, it went pretty well,” said Vaughn Daniels, director of public works for the City of Troy. “We didn’t have any trees down or debris in the roadways and the only road that had to be closed was Elm Street, but that’s standard for any storm.”
Jeanna Barnes, director of Pike County Emergency Management, said Elm Street was the only reported road closure in the county.
“We missed the worst of it,” said Jeanna Barnes, director of Pike County Emergency Management. “The only damages reported that I know of are a lightning strike to the Troy Police Department and the fire department across from it.”
The lightning damaged radios, but Barnes said the departments were back up and running within 10 minutes.
For 24 hours, Pike County was threatened by damaging wind, flooding, hail the size of softballs and tornadoes. The area was not clear of weather-related incidents until midnight.
There were no sightings of tornados early Tuesday, but National Weather Service radar detected a tornado in the Brundidge and Hamilton Crossroads area. Tornado warnings issued for the Brundidge area lasted nearly an hour beginning around 3 a.m. Tuesday.
“Warnings went out for Brundidge and along Highway 10 or the Clio highway but we were blessed,” said Linda Faust, City administrative assistant. “There were not power outages in the city and no flooding of any kind. Our electric department employees were up and on alert but were not called out.”
The Bowden Street area in Brundidge lost power during the stormy weather but the outage had nothing to do with the weather, rather a squirrel that fried on the power line. Once the cause of the outage was discovered, power was quickly restored by the Brundidge Electric Department, said Faust.
Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport said, too, that Brundidge was fortunate. “We were under a tornado warning for what seemed like a long time but, thankfully, nothing happened,” Davenport said. “The winds never did get that strong. There was a lot of thunder and lightening and some rain but nothing major.”
However, Davenport said the phone at the Brundidge Police Station was busy with people wanting to know where they could find safe shelter. “As far as I know, we don’t have a designated place for residents to go during threatening weather like we had early Tuesday morning,” he said. “But, we had people coming to the station and we didn’t have anywhere for them to go. But we couldn’t refuse them so they took shelter in the courtroom.”
Davenport said most of those who took refuge in the courtroom live in mobile homes.
“But we had people call that lived in brick houses,” he said. “Maybe they just didn’t want to be by themselves. But other than people looking for a safe place to stay, things were rather stable. People were advised to stay in and they did. We didn’t have any accidents and the streets were quiet during the warnings. We made it through the warnings all right.”

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