NWS increases confirmed central Alabama tornado count to 5
MACON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The National Weather Service has confirmed at least five tornadoes in central Alabama following severe weather that swept across the state over the weekend, leaving behind debris and damage.
The NWS says confirmed tornadoes touched down in Autauga, Clarke, Elmore, Macon and Wilcox counties.
Preliminary NWS damage assessments show an EF2 touched down in Macon County near Milstead. There was an EF0 in Autauga County, near the Prattville Country Club. In Elmore County, an EF1 traveled over seven miles at Lake Martin, damaging trees, power lines and homes.
The NWS also reports the tornadoes in both Clarke and Wilcox counties were of of EF1 strength. More details on this is expected soon.
Assessments are ongoing to determine if there were any other tornadoes. Additional areas being investigated include Lake Martin at the Elmore County/Tallapoosa County line and Bear Creek in Marion County from last Friday.
The storms left lots of damage in multiple areas. In Macon County, the EF2 was on the ground for 26 minutes, or 15 miles. The owner of a destroyed cotton gin, Shep Morris, said the damage to his property is in the millions of dollars. His son’s home nearby was also hit.
According to Emergency Management Agency Director Frank Lee, emergency crews searched an isolated area between Milstead and Franklin near Alabama Highway 229 and Interstate 85. A commercial structure located on County Road 40 has been demolished.
The Alabama Department of Transportation also reported debris on Interstate 85.
Storm damage was reported in the Prattville area, where an EF0 touched down near the Prattville Country Club. Crews cleared downed power lines and trees that had a number of streets in that area blocked.
Viewers reported trees are down and some homes have been damaged near Deer Trace, Quail Run, and Thomas Lane. In Phenix City, residents reported golf ball-sized hail.
The town of Camp Hill in Tallapoosa County also saw widespread damage. Residents said their homes were pelted by softball-sized hail. Many windshields were busted. Around 1,000 people live in Camp Hill, and the mayor said nearly everyone was affected.
The storm is causing the U.S. Postal Service to temporarily suspend its operations at its Camp Hill post office. Officials apologized for the inconvenience. People who rely on this location can still mail packages, conduct retail transactions and purchase postage at a Mobile Retail Unit in the parking lot. Customers can conduct business transactions at the Dadeville Post Office at 140 S Springs St, Dadeville, AL 36853 – 9998.
Alabama Power reported more than 30 broken poles, damaged infrastructure and transformers, and multiple spans of downed wire as a result of fallen trees and large limbs.
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