Irma does little harm to county

By ED HOWELL
Posted 9/14/17

Daily Mountain Eagle

After being a wildcat in Florida and Georgia, Irma acted like a lady in Walker County.

Hurricane Irma was already downgraded to a tropical storm by the time she got to Walker County Monday night, and officials on Tuesday …

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Irma does little harm to county

Posted

Daily Mountain Eagle

After being a wildcat in Florida and Georgia, Irma acted like a lady in Walker County.

Hurricane Irma was already downgraded to a tropical storm by the time she got to Walker County Monday night, and officials on Tuesday reported there was nothing to see in terms of damage. Rain fell rather peacefully during the evening.

Regina Myers, the coordinator of the Walker County Emergency Management Agency, indicated the county dodged a bullet. She said she even called Walker County E-911 to see “if they had any reports of trees down, and they said they had not any reports through the night, either.”

Some power outages were reported, but she said service appeared to be restored quickly, based on social media reports.

Facebook, which these days is quick to have posted video of damaged, appeared to be devoid of storm drama in the area.

Cristy Moody, who has helped in spearheading efforts at an evacuee shelter set up Sunday night at Jasper’s First Baptist Church, said 13 stayed overnight at the church on Monday night. However, the evacuees were going home and the shelter would be closed after lunch on Tuesday.

Many evacuees were apparently leaving early, even before the effects of the storm hit Walker County.

Heavy lunchtime traffic on Monday at the Walker Baptist Medical Center area of Highway 118 indicated a repetitive number of vehicles headed toward Birmingham with Florida license plates.

District 1 Walker County Commissioner Keith Davis reported no damage in his district, after making a number of preparations the day before.

He said the electricity was off at his own home for 10 hours.

Britton Lightsey, the head of Alabama Power offices in the county, said no more than 200 customers were out in the county at any one time, which is average for any typical storm.

All power was restored as of Tuesday morning.

“A tree fell and knocked out a three-phase line a little bit north of (Jasper), and broke a pole or two. We had a few outages from that, but that was the major event,” he said. “It was hit or miss. It wasn’t bad at all.”

He said Tuesday morning local storm teams were then on their way to help with outages in East Alabama and Southeast Alabama. Power was expected to be restored in most of that region of the state by midnight that night.

Lightsey said the crews would then likely go mid-week to Georgia, where it was expected to take several days to restore all power.