First rainfall in months creates hazards in central Alabama
MILLBROOK, AL (WSFA) - The latest storm system to move through Alabama is good news for the ongoing drought but some Alabamians are having to accept the good with the bad.
Downed trees and power lines are just some of the issues officials are preparing for in our area.
"About 2:00 this morning, we heard a thud on the roof," said Millbrook homeowner, Jim Ennis.
Ennis' neighbors now have some new firewood.
"I just couldn't believe it, I never would have thought that limb would have broke," said Ennis.
Damage control after strong winds and rain caused half an oak tree in the Ennis' front yard to fall into the street Tuesday.
"We've had a long period of time with some dry ground so as that ground starts getting saturated, we have to start thinking about, ok those heavy winds, heavy trees sometimes we'll have some downed trees, which could turn into downed power lines," said Christina Thornton, Montgomery City/County EMA Director.
From providing assistance during Hurricane Matthew to winter weather preparedness, the Montgomery County EMA has been working in their downtime, including some prep work for the first major system to move through the area after 72 days without rain.
"We're always preparing so we know who's got bulldozers [and] who has sand, no matter what it is; the chainsaw team that can come out and help us if we have a significant amount of trees down," said Thornton.
Like Jacob Harris, with Tree's Etc., who estimates the next month will be a busy one.
"This morning, we started with a whole lot of phone calls, three to four right off the bat. We had downed trees, limbs that were hanging [and] on top of that, I had people call that wanted to get those trees down that they had been putting off," said Harris, Owner of Tree's Etc.
Harris will be back in Millbrook first thing Wednesday morning.
"Now the weight of the tree is over the house, bad time of year but you gotta [sic] do what you gotta [sic] do," said Ennis.
With more severe weather on the way, Harris says folks need to keep an eye on their trees.
The downed limb in the Ennis' yard, plus the removal of the tree, will run somewhere in the $1,200 range.
Harris says with the drought, we've had a bad outbreak of Southern Pine Beetles, so a lot of pine trees in the area are dry and depleted.
Thornton also advises safety around power lines since downed trees can also down power lines. If you see a downed line, don't approach it and report it immediately.
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