Straightline winds measuring 65 to 80 miles per hour from a fast-moving summer storm Friday, June 17, left thousands in the Wiregrass without power, roads, yards littered with rubbish and at least one Daleville home with significant damage.Lance Hobbs said he, his wife and small child had just left their home to get supper just before storm winds toppled a large oak tree. When the family returned home they found the tree had crushed a portion of the ranch-style house and landed in the living room.Insurance adjusters are still working on damage assessments and Hobbs is unsure if the house suffered water damage, in addition to the heavily damaged eaves, roof and home interior that resulted from the downed tree.As the family was traveling back home after the storm they began to see some of the wind damage in their neighborhood.“On the way home from dinner,” Hobbs said, “We saw a tree limb up the street that was hanging on a power limb and thought well, they’ve got a tree limb on a power line, that’s bad. Then we got home and saw that we had one-upped them. We had a whole tree in the living room.”Hobbs said his little girl doesn’t seem to quite understand what happened and simply wanted to know why the tree was in the living room. He said they told her, “Well, it just fell over.”With a sense of humor about the storm and the damage it wreaked upon his house, Hobbs is quick to say he is thankful he and his family were not home at the time.Daleville Department of Public Safety Director Harvey Mathis said, “With the storm, Daleville had some power outages, fallen trees and some power lines down. However, no one was reported injured.”Mathis said police officers working Friday night responded to multiple security alarm calls, which were set off by power issues. He said, “Our volunteer firefighters were very diligent and took to patrolling the roads looking and reporting any apparent power outages, as well as removing any debris on the road. They voluntarily left the security of their homes and braved the passing storms to serve the citizens of Daleville, which was very commendable. Our praise to Alabama Power workers who got on scene and worked until all power was restored.”Linda Brannen, Alabama Power spokesperson, said at the height of the weather event, 115,000 customers in the southeastern division of the company were without power. She said about 1,350 of those were located in the Fort Rucker, Daleville and Enterprise areas and all of those had power restored by mid-morning Saturday.About 3,700 Pea River Electric Cooperative customers experienced power outages during the storm.Laura Thornton, community relations spokesperson for the cooperative said, “955 were in the Level Plains area and other parts of Coffee County that we serve and 572 of the outages were in the Clayhatchee area…All of our line crews and right-of-way crews worked 12-hours plus to restore power to our members with the last accounts restored about 4:30 p.m. the next day.”Dale County Emergency Management Director Kurt McDaniel said the majority of the damage in the county was limited to power lines and trees downed, although a roof from a building in downtown Ariton did blow off and
land on another building.
Daleville resident Eli Livingston’s dog, Gypsy, investigates a large tree uprooted in the Livingston yard during a severe thunderstorm Friday, June 17.