Lowndes County residents counted safe after storm

Published 10:24 am Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Lowndes County officials report residents escaped damage from a storm system that moved through early Wednesday morning.

Emergency Management Agency Director Rodney Rudolph received reports of a possible tornado touchdown near Benton, but his investigation revealed no evidence of damages.

“I’ve been driving [to check] all night and all morning,” said Rudolph. “Luckily we didn’t get any damage.”

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According to Rudolph, 911 dispatchers reported no calls related to the storm system. Further inspection of Benton roads following the storm confirmed all roads in the area remained clear.

Rudolph said the storm’s path crossed through Benton, along the Alabama River and the Lowndes/Autauga County line.

“There were rumors of a tornado in Benton, but we don’t think there was a touchdown in Lowndes County,” Rudolph said. “There was possibly a touchdown in Autauga County and fatalities in Montgomery County.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-2 tornado from the storm landed in north Montgomery County, leaving two residents dead near the Flatwoods Community off Lower Wetumpka Road.

According to Pioneer Electric Communications Director Christi Scruggs, roughly 700 customers in Pioneer service areas experienced power outages during the peak of the storm surge.

“We had scattered outages across our entire system last night,” said Scruggs. “But overall, we fared pretty well. At the height of outages, we had 740 customers out, which is a very small portion of our entire system.”

By mid-morning Wednesday, approximately 11 Lowndes County Pioneer members remained without power, and by 1 p.m., all outages had been restored.

“When a storm like that happens, lightning and fallen tree limbs cause problems,” Scruggs said. “If you look at our outage map during a storm, you can see how things are playing out. It’s color-coded by the number of customers by each outage. When you have storms rolling across an area, you have problems scattered here and there.”

Pioneer members can report outages and view the utility’s outage map by visiting pioneerelectric.com/my-storm-center.

More than 14,000 Alabama Power customers were without power mid-morning on Wednesday. By noon, that number had reduced to just over 10,500, with no outages remaining in Lowndes County.

Alabama Power customers may find tips and resources, report an outage, or view an outage map for their area by visiting alabamapower.com/residential/outages-and-storm-center.