Nate brings wind, rain, a tornado and downed trees to county

Published 5:34 pm Monday, October 9, 2017

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

Hurricane Nate (turned tropical system) hit Lowndes County this past weekend with heavy wind, rain and a tornado that caused downed trees in the county.

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According to the National Weather Service, late Saturday, Oct. 7, tornado warned storms moved from south to north through portions of Central Alabama as part of the tropical system, Nate.

The National Weather Service reported on Monday, Oct. 9 that Lowndes County experienced an EF-0 tornado with an estimated peak wind of 85 m.p.h.

The National Weather Service surveyed damage in Central Lowndes County and determined the damage was caused by a tornado.

“The tornado began near a chicken farm along Lowndes County Road 33 and moved northwest crossing Alabama Highway 21 where tress were snapped and uprooted,” a survey of damage report states.

“The tornado continued northwest crossing Foster Road. The end of the path had to be estimated as the tornado lifted in a swampy area  north of Foster Road or just east of Mosses,” the report concludes.

On Friday Oct. 6, the National Weather Service announced a Tropical Storm Watch was issued at 4:14 p.m., which meant tropical storm wind conditions were possible somewhere within the area in the next 48 hours.

It was reported that the situation was favorable for tornados, flooding rain and wind. It was expected that equivalent tropical storm force winds of 30-40 m.p.h. with gusts to 55 m.p.h. were possible early Sunday morning until Sunday afternoon.

By Saturday, Oct. 7, the National Weather Service had Lowndes County under a flash flood watch until 10 p.m. Sunday and under a tropical storm warning until further notice.

By Sunday morning, Oct. 8, Lowndes County Engineer David Butts reported that a tree was down on Lowndes County Road 26 between Hayneville and Lowndes County Road 6, but had been cleared.

Alabama Power reported there were approximately 10,750 Alabama Power customers without service in Central Alabama including 150 in Fort Deposit and 1,240 in Greenville.

Statewide, the Company the company reported 71,000 customers without service.

Around 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, the National Weather Service said a Flash Flood Watch for Lowndes County remained in effect until 7 p.m.

Alabama Power also reported less than 700 outages in Greenville and Fort Deposit.

Lowndes County Engineer Butts reported trees were down blocking traffic on County Roads 37, 4 and Collirene Cutoff Road.

The National Weather Service reported heavy rainfall across Central Alabama associated with tropical activity could produce areas of flash flooding.

It was expected the area could receive 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts.

By about 1 p.m. Sunday, Butts reported a tree down on Bishop Bottom Road in Fort Deposit. However, he reported the Collirene Cutoff Road tree has been removed; the tree on County Road 37 was removed by the Fort Deposit Volunteer Fire Department; and he reported a crew was headed to the County Road 4 tree.

The National Weather Service next announced a Wind Advisory until 10 p.m. Sunday night, Oct. 8, and the county remained until the Flash Flood Watch until 7 p.m.

By around 4 p.m. Sunday, Butts reported that all the downed trees he was aware of had been handled and roads they blocked were open.

By 10 p.m. Sunday night Alabama Power reported statewide outages were down to 17,200 and down to 440 in Central Alabama.