Utility, emergency crews on guard for storm damage - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Utility, emergency crews on guard for storm damage

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Crews worked quickly to restore power after winds downed a tree Thursday. Crews worked quickly to restore power after winds downed a tree Thursday.
SHEFFIELD, AL (WAFF) -

Shoals leaders are preparing for the threat of severe weather Thursday night. Utility crews said they have prepared all day for what could come with the storm.

Wind gusts earlier in the afternoon already proved their strength. A downed tree nearly took out power lines on Darby Avenue in Sheffield. Police on scene said it took utility and street crews less than ten minutes to respond.

Linemen with Sheffield Utilities have already loaded their trucks with extra equipment. Sheffield Utilities' General Foreman Alan McVay said as soon as outage reports start to come in, his men and women are ready to go – at a moment's notice.

"We start getting four-man crews set up, going out and setting poles. We get smaller crews, maybe a three-man crew to go out and take care of the lines and services that are down and stuff like that. We'll get tree crews in, and they will cut the trees out of the way and try to get things lined up," said McVay.

At Thursday afternoon's weather briefing, more than a dozen community leaders gathered in Florence. Officials said with this being the first significant severe weather threat of the year, they want people to make sure they have batteries and that their weather radios are working.

Officials said they're concerned the recent arctic temperatures may play a role in some storm dangers. "Some of the roots of the trees could be compromised and some of these high winds, regardless of tornadic activity, could cause us some issues that we have to deal with," said Colbert County EMA officer Mike Melton.

Remember, if you do experience a power outage, please do not call 911. It is important to keep those lines clear for emergency calls. If your power goes out, report it to the power company. They promise they will work as quickly as they can to get the power restored.

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