Monday storms leave trail of debris near Crawford

Kyle Nazario


The water vapor patterns over the eastern U.S., as of Tuesday afternoon.
The water vapor patterns over the eastern U.S., as of Tuesday afternoon. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

The storms that buffeted the Chattahoochee Valley Monday night left a trail of damage, according to Robert Franklin, director of Russell County Emergency Management.

"We've got a lot of debris to pick up," Franklin said Tuesday afternoon. "The city engineer is out there now trying to get all the trees out of the roadway."

WRBL chief meteorologist Bob Jeswald said the doppler radar indicated a storm that was at least a straightline wind event near southwest Crawford.

"I personally think it was a weak [tornado] but [the National Weather Service] will have to make that determination," Jeswald said, pointing to the rotation on the radar.

Jeswald said the next few days would be in the low 60s and that we may see clouds with temperatures in the low 70s by the weekend.

Franklin said Emergency Management received a tornado warning at 7:59 p.m. Monday. Franklin said the system activated sirens in the path of a storm and not across the entire county to avoid crying wolf.

Jeswald and Franklin said some of the worst damage was concentrated along Hugley Road, which Franklin said had several uprooted trees.

One truck was attached to a camper and parked underneath a car port to protect the two from the rain. The carport was destroyed, flipping the camper, he said.

The worst-hit area was Brown Road, near Highway 169. Franklin said at one point Brown Road was blocked in six places by debris. He said there were six volunteer fire departments out Monday night running chainsaws and dragging debris out of the roadway.

The total cost of damage to homeowners couldn't be assessed Tuesday afternoon.

"Dollar-wise I don't have a figure, but timing-wise it's not good for us," Franklin said.

The director of Russell County Emergency Management said these storms cost the county because they force them to take crews off of other projects to deal with emergency debris. They're still cleaning up debris and repairing damage from the Christmas 2015 floods.

"It's keeping us busy," Franklin said.