Storms cause damage for central Alabama communities

Storm damage reported in central, south AL

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Reports of apparent wind damage are coming in from Elmore, Autauga, and Montgomery counties after a strong storm swept across the state Tuesday morning.

Alabama Power crews are continuing to work to restore service to customers affected by storms. At 4 p.m. there were approximately 510 customers in central Alabama without service including Wallsboro: 170 customers; Montgomery: 140 customers; Opelika: 100 customers; Wetumpka: 40 customers.

In Autauga County, the Emergency Management Agency says there are multiple trees down in Prattville’s Camellia Estates with a tree reportedly down on a Wisteria Lane. There are no reports of injuries at this point.

In Montgomery County, one person reported multiple employee vehicles at the Hyundai plant near Hope Hull had their windows knocked out and that a light pole was bent over in the storm. Hyundai spokesman Robert Vance said plant production stopped at 12:30 p.m. so employees could check on their vehicles. Production resumed at 2:30 p.m.

There were also scattered reports of trees down in some neighborhoods in the Montgomery area, but no reports of any injuries.

Damage to multiple vehicles' windows was reported at the Hyundai plant near Hope Hull (Source: WSFA 12 News viewer)
Damage to multiple vehicles' windows was reported at the Hyundai plant near Hope Hull (Source: WSFA 12 News viewer)

In Elmore County, EMA Director Keith Barnett said there are reports of multiple trees down, especially in the area where trees had already been weakened after an EF-2 tornado recently went through downtown Wetumpka.

The City of Wetumpka reported some trees were on vehicles but damage to structures was limited.

One structure that did have damage was the historic chapel at Wetumpka First Baptist Church, which had a temporary roof in place after being hit by an EF-2 tornado on Jan. 19. Tuesday’s storms ripped the temporary roof off the structure, the latest setback for the congregation.

The intensity of the storm could be seen in a video posted by Alex and Dylan Vires. The video was taken inside the Wetumpka Walmart. It pulled the doors away from the building and slammed shopping carts into cars.

Video shows strong storm pull doors off Wetumpka Walmart

There are no reports, but Barnett said across the street from the Walmart, there were reports of wind damage at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store on Highway 231. The Wetumpka Fire Department said the building was evacuated after suffering significant roof damage. Several air conditioning units were ripped off the roof. Also, the smell of gas prompted officials to shut off the building’s gas supply.

Damage caused by Tuesday's storm at the Lowe's store on Hwy. 231 in Wetumpka. (Source: Ken Hammock)
Damage caused by Tuesday's storm at the Lowe's store on Hwy. 231 in Wetumpka. (Source: Ken Hammock)

Some traffic signals were also reportedly out.

Straight line winds laid trees down on power lines around Lowe’s. Please use caution. Traffic signals are currently out....

Posted by City of Wetumpka, AL Government on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A WSFA 12 News viewer shared a picture of trees that had fallen on vehicles on North Pine Street in Wetumpka near Turner Oil.

A storm caused damage next to Turner Oil in Wetumpka Tuesday.
A storm caused damage next to Turner Oil in Wetumpka Tuesday. (Source: Terri Noel Schaller)

So why wasn’t there a warning associated with this storm? Here’s an explanation.

WHY NO WARNING? I've seen a few folks comment that they had no Warning despite storms causing damage. It's a fair...

Posted by Eric Snitil WSFA on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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