High winds cause damage in county

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Although today’s weather is sunny and mild, the afternoon of Wednesday April 26 was not so pleasant for the residents of Brantley, Goshen, and Glenwood as a severe thunderstorm caught many by surprise.

At approximately 3:41 p.m. the National Weather Service in Mobile issued a statement warning of strong thunderstorms affecting part of the county, which was followed by a severe thunderstorm warning at 4:50 p.m.

The storm caused immense amounts of hail and exceptionally high sustained winds, reaching between 90 and 100 miles per hour, resulting in downed power lines, fallen trees, power outages, and damage to three residences in the county. At the peak of the outage, 286 Crenshaw County residents were without power. However, by morning all power had been restored, and no injuries were reported.

Mona Gaines-West of Brantley, who frequently checks the Crenshaw County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA) Facebook page, especially when severe weather is expected, shared her experience with Wednesday’s storm.

“I’ve seen it that bad before but it’s been years,” Gaines-West said. “The wind and hail just popped up all of a sudden. There was a huge oak tree at the end of our dirt road that fell across the Old Brantley Luverne Road and another one that fell a little farther down the road near Sheep Trail Road. My husband was coming home on his spreader truck and stopped and pulled it out of the road for the South Alabama Electric Cooperative linemen that were already out and about working to restore power. I sure appreciate all of our linemen and our EMA director.”

The sudden change in the environment that produced the unexpected near 100 mile per hour winds, according to CCEMA director Elliot Jones, is something that can be common this time of year and he warns that residents need to be weather aware at all times, but especially this time of year since storms can sometimes become life threatening in the blink of an eye.