It appears that Cherokee County was once again fortunate in regard to the latest round of severe weather to hit northeast Alabama.
We’ve yet to receive reports of any property damage or injuries locally.
Sarah Bright with the Cherokee Electric Co-op has informed us that they do have outages across their service area, mainly due to trees being down across power lines; they also have widespread outages across Sand Mountain where the storms were much more severe.
She advises motorists to be especially watchful for downed lines across the roadway in that area and on any backroads or in lesser traveled areas.
Etowah County EMA Director Michael Amberson says travel is highly discouraged in the Smith Institute community at this time due to damage from that stormfront. Numerous trees and power lines are down across that area – and first responders are currently working on search and rescue missions in the area.
A Civil Emergency has been declared, and officials say any unnecessary travel in that locale will delay response efforts.
A likely tornado struck the Smith Institute area at around 12:40 this (Tuesday) morning, causing extensive damage to structures and trees. Responders from the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, Gadsden Fire Department and from Sardis City are working in the area.
At this time no major injuries have been reported.
In neighboring DeKalb County the Aroney community took the biggest hit according to EMA Deputy Director Michael Posey.
He says a large number of trees and power lines are down in the vicinity and there has been some damage to structures. There have been as yet unconfirmed reports of some injuries in the area as well. He said mutual aide resources from Cherokee, Etowah and Marshall counties have been on the scene since the stormfront came through.
Posey also said it was possible that multiple tornados may have moved through DeKalb County; any official ruling about what exactly hit Dekalb County – straight-line winds, a tornado – or any other type system – will have to be made by the National Weather Service.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley moved forward, and declared a “State-of-Emergency” for all Alabama counties ahead of the severe weather at 7:00pm Monday.