Storm dumps trees, power lines across town

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Cheryl Nicholson didn’t have time to hear the tree come crashing down in her front yard early Monday morning.

The second wave of massive storms this year rolled through Marengo County on Monday, leaving power lines strewn across yards, roadways smothered in overflowing creek banks, and trees dangling from their snapped roots.

According to Sylvan Mutschler, director of the Marengo County Emergency Management Agency, the eerie feelings apparently weren’t caused by any tornadoes &045;&045; despite the constant sounds of sirens heard throughout Demopolis early Monday morning.

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At one point, as Mutschler drove through the streets of Demopolis, he said his truck was nearly picked up.

No damage was done to Mutschler’s truck, but others couldn’t say the same. In neighboring Sumter County, Jessie Rowe, 68, was killed when her car was swept off the shoulder of U.S. Highway 11. When rescue personnel arrived to help, her car disappeared in a creek current. A few hours later, rescue squads and divers found Rowe drowned in her car.

And Marengo County residents were not immune from rushing waters. According to Sheriff Jesse Langley, a passenger and a driver were caught in a rush of water that shoved their car off the road. No one was hurt in the accident.

Headed West on Highway 28, about 12 miles from Livingston, another section of Highway 28 was covered in water. At one point Monday morning, that section of Highway 28 was closed. Shortly after 9 a.m., the road was re-opened and drivers were forced to pass cautiously through the rising water.

Alarm Clock Mayhem

Though there weren’t any recognized tornadoes that passed through Marengo County on Monday, strong winds ripped through trees and power lines, forcing Alabama Power Co. to send out trucks en masse.

According to Mike Porter, spokesman for Alabama Power, more than 1,500 customers in a region that spans from Marengo County all the way into northwest Alabama lost power. And of those 1,500 customers, more than 900 were in the Demopolis area.

In between 6-8:30 a.m., all power in the area was restored, Porter said.

Late Winter Break

If there wasn’t snow to give kids an unexpected break from school during the winter months, mother nature made up for the vacation on Monday. Every school and most daycares were closed in Marengo County due to the severe thunderstorms.

Demopolis City, Marengo County and Linden City, along with private schools were all closed on Monday.