A strong thunderstorm on Tuesday, May 4, produced straight-line winds that caused damage in certain parts of the county as well as widespread power outages.
Lt. Ella Roberts with the Wetumpka Police Department said there was no significant damage reported to the police department, but that wasn’t the case in Millbrook. Millbrook Police Chief P.K. Johnson said the thunderstorm impacted the southern portion of Millbrook.
"We had trees and power lines down on the south end of town, particularly in the area of Cobbs Ford Road, from 143 South to I-65 and beyond into Prattville,” Johnson said. “We’ve had reports of damage to residences in the Lake and Forest Subdivision, Demonbruen Drive and along Cobbs Ford Road. Several businesses near the intersection of Cobbs Ford Road and I-65 and the adjacent Industrial Park sustained damage, as well. At this time we have no reports of injuries.”
Due to multiple downed power lines, Cobbs Ford Road was closed from Highway 143 to I-65 as of 3 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5. Traffic is not able to access South Edgewood Road from Edgewood Road due to downed power lines. Both roads will be impassable until cleared by the power company. Motorists are asked to avoid these roads until further notice.
Elmore County is current responding to and assessing damage created by the storms, said EMA program coordinator Julie Lawrence.
“We’re still in the process of gathering information and we will spend the afternoon out in the county identifying and assessing the damage,” Lawrence said.
In addition to Millbrook, Lawrence said some structure damage was reported in Prattville. The Redland, Eclectic and Titus communities are more so dealing with down trees and power lines. No injuries have been reported.
Lawrence urged the community to contact the EMA to report damage related to the storms.
“A lot of times, people don’t know to call us,” Lawrence said. “We do have resources and volunteers available to us to help with debris removal. We can also provide materials, like tarps, but we need to know who needs help.”
At 6 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5, Alabama Power reported that 63,700 customers were without service statewide. About 50,700 of those were in central Alabama.
Crews worked throughout the night to assess damage and restore power. Service was restored to more than 15,000 customers in central Alabama overnight. The damage was extensive and includes numerous reports of broken poles and downed wire as a result of fallen trees. Due to the extent of tree damage, some areas have remained inaccessible.
As of 11 a.m., 40,000 outages remained across the state, with 3,310 customers affected in Elmore County, 6,276 affected in Autauga County and 10,427 affected in Montgomery County.
Residents can contact the Elmore County Emergency Management Agency at 334-567-6451.
Alabama Power offers the following important storm safety reminders:
- Stay away, and keep children and pets away, from downed lines. Do not drive over lines or under low-hanging lines. Always assume power lines are energized.
- Avoid areas with fallen trees or limbs where downed lines may be hidden.
- DO NOT attempt to remove tree limbs or anything else caught in power lines. To report an issue, call Alabama Power at 1-800-888-2726 or contact local law enforcement.
- DO NOT attempt to make repairs to Alabama Power equipment. Call 1-800-888-2726 and wait for our trained work crews to get there so they can perform the potentially dangerous work.
- Stay away from areas where repair crews are working. If driving near work crews, obey road signs and proceed cautiously.
- Please maintain adequate distance as we make repairs and restore power. At the very least, please maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet from our crews and field representatives to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.