The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

June 18, 2013

Storms down trees, power lines; more possible today

From staff reports

— With the first day of summer only three days away, the National Weather Service is predicting more unstable weather today with thunderstorms and possible flash flooding in the forecast.

Thunderstorms roared into Limestone County Monday afternoon, downing limbs and lines and severing power to more than 2,000 people across the county, including 570 customers north of U.S. 72 in western Limestone.

About 1:30 p.m., a strong thunderstorm packing rain, lightning and gusting wind dropped rain at a clip of 3 to 4 inches an hour, according to a NWS meteorologist.

About 1:33 p.m., emergency radio reported a possible funnel cloud at the Tanner Crossroads, but spotters said they saw no vortex. Amid the downpour, a caller telephoned about a pregnant woman in labor on Stewart Road, who was taken to the hospital.

There were no injuries reported, but at least 33 power outages occurred affecting more than 2,000 customers across the county, said City of Athens spokeswoman Holly Hollman. Lines were reported down on an 18-wheeler in Lakeside Estates as well as in the Copperfield Lane area, Hollman said. Crews were dispatched to verify and repair damage. Limbs or branches were reported down on Elk River Mills Road, Lentzville Road, just past Elk Estates and power lines down at Baker Hill and New Cut Roads.

Downed lines are live

Athens Utilities Customer Relations Manager Amy Golden reminded the public to treat all downed power lines as if they were live. Just because the power is out to your home or business does not mean the power is not still flowing through the downed line, she said.

Today, week

The NWS is calling for a 90 percent chance of heavy rain today, with that percentage dropping significantly after sunset.

A special statement was also issued Monday about the potential for locally heavy rain and flash flooding today.  A series of air masses converging in the area are to blame for the wet weather.

“These features will interact with an unstable and moist environment to produce slower moving showers and storms, some strong producing heavy rainfall at times,” the NWS wrote in a statement.

Wednesday is expected to bring mostly sunny skies with a 20 percent chance of showers before 2 p.m.

Thursday is expected to be a hot 91 degrees, with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Friday, the first day of summer, promises the same.