County grateful for good fortune through storm

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 13, 2005

LINDEN-Marengo County officials gathered Tuesday for a post Dennis meeting to discuss what issues the county had been dealt from the storm. Fortunately, there was little to discuss in regard to storm damage. Marengo County, like other areas in the Black Belt, is dealing mostly with power outages and down trees.

Commission Chairman Freddie Armstead thanked divine intervention and preparation for the county’s good fortune.

“I would just like to thank my good Lord and your good Lord for watching over us this weekend,” Armstead said. “It was just a blessing that our crews went out there and worked and there was no harm or danger to anybody within the county or the surrounding counties.”

There were several people to pass gratitude to for the smooth transition from the storm to a normal routine. Armstead said it took a countywide effort and a strong game plan.

“I want to thank all the people in Marengo County for the work you have done,” Armstead said. “Everyone did a great job. We put a plan together, we were here and all of us knew where we were going to do and who was going to be in charge.”

Armstead also thanked volunteer groups for their contributions during the storm.

“I would like to thank all the volunteer fire squads and Red Cross and all who participated,” Armstead said. “We were organized and ready for anything as much as anyone could be. We just need to thank all of them for the good work they have done and that shows leadership.”

Commissioner Max Joiner said the county was also grateful to Alabama Power for their quick response. Joiner said many were already back under lights and many more should be by the end of the day.

“We had some power outages and most of those have been fixed,” Joiner said. “If they aren’t back on they are working on it as hard as they can.”

Joiner said they had not expected things to go so smoothly for the area and were grateful for their good fortune.

“The initial forecast was not that great,” Joiner said. “But they went to work and they have done things a lot sooner than we thought they would be able to.”

The damage was a fraction of what had been expected, but the path is not completely clear. County Engineer Ken Atkins said there is still a lot of work to be done.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” Atkins said. “We had a little bit more flooding and dirt roads that were cut into.”

County workers spent “the morning after” helping people get back to their homes. Atkins said for the remainder of the recovery process they would concentrate on cleanups.

“Yesterday we concentrated on getting out, cutting trees and getting roads open,” Atkins said. “We just tried to get people home. Today we are going back in and trying to work on the roads and get them passable again. Yesterday the main concern was to get everybody home.”

The workers were not alone. Atkins said they received tremendous help from volunteers and individuals.

“We were very fortunate and we had a lot of help,” Atkins said. “We had rescue squads and local people in particular and we would like to thank them. There were several instances where we would get to a tree and it was already moved.”

Atkins said aside from minor problems, things had gone very well for the county through the storm.

“We were expecting the worst and hoping for the best,” Atkins said. “I believe we got about as good as we could have gotten out of it.”