Valley dodges injuries, damage from storms

Nov. 30—Wind gusts up to 50 mph Tuesday night toppled several trees in northern Lawrence County, but the area was unscathed by the two waves of severe thunderstorms that moved through, local emergency management and National Weather Service officials said.

Lawrence County Engineer Winston Sitton said his crews were out from about 8 p.m. to midnight clearing county roads north of Town Creek that became blocked when trees fell. Sitton said Lawrence County 150, 270 and 314 in the Red Bank community were blocked for a short time.

"We were very fortunate we didn't have any reports of significant damage," said Lawrence County EMA Director Chris Waldrep. "We've been pretty dry in the past few months. That probably kept us from having more trees down."

In Morgan County, EMA Director Brandy Davis said her office hasn't heard of any significant damage. "We had a few trees down around the county and some minor flooding, but nothing major," she said.

In Limestone County, EMA Officer Daphne Ellison said a couple of trees fell in the East Limestone area but no roads were blocked.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Andy Kula in Huntsville said parts of Limestone County received 3.25 inches of rainfall with Morgan and Lawrence counties each receiving up to 3 inches.

"We had no tornadoes and no injuries reported in north Alabama," Kula said. "We were very fortunate."

He said the early morning low temperatures Thursday will dip into the upper 20s and Thursday's high will reach in the lower 50s. Friday's high will be in the lower 50s and lows at night be in the upper 30s.

"We'll have rain back in the area Saturday with highs in the 60s," Kula said.

Although the local area dodged significant damage from Tuesday's storms, other parts of the South weren't as fortunate. In Alabama, The Associated Press reported, two people died after a tree struck their home in the Flatwood community north of Montgomery. In Eutaw, large sections of the roof were missing from an apartment complex, displacing 15 families in the middle of the night, and power lines and trees were "all over the road," Eutaw Police Chief Tommy Johnson told WBRC-TV.

A total of 73 tornado warnings and 120 severe thunderstorm warnings were issued from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning, said Matthew Elliott, a meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Record high temperatures in Texas and Louisiana intensified the storm front before it moved into Mississippi and Alabama, forecasters said Wednesday.

Shreveport, Louisiana, heated up to 81 degrees on Tuesday; and Tyler, Texas hit 82 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Shreveport. Both those marks broke the old record of 80, set in 1949, the weather service said, according to the AP.

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.