Storm rips homes apart

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; Strong winds tore through Demopolis last night causing widespread damage to structures, dwellings, power lines and falling trees in its path.

Capt. Tommy Tate of the Demopolis Fire Department said there were no deaths or serious injuries reported as of midnight.

McKinney estimated that between 25 to 30 individuals were without housing after the storm subsided. He said that six mobile homes were completely destroyed and the roof of an apartment building torn off.

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The structure in question is Building B at the Demopolis Villas. Of the five structures in the apartment complex, it was the only one to sustain damage from the storm.

There was also damage in downtown Demopolis, the majority of which was located on Washington Street. The roof of Danny’s was torn off and lay in the street last night, along with damage to Trade and Traffic and an upstairs window of Colony Office Supplies.

At the corner of Commissioner Street and Washington Street a roof was blown off of a building and numerous power poles were down with power lines strewn across the intersection.

There was also damage reported at Rock-Tenn.

The Hwy. 80 branch of Robertson Bank at Maria Avenue also received heavy damage to its drive-thru.

Cookers in town for the barbecue cook-off during today’s Christmas on the River festivities managed to escape any damage from the storm.

After assessing the situation police, fire fighters, public works crews and officials of Demopolis began formulating a plan to begin responding to the situation.

Rescue services from other communities came to Demopolis after the storm to help with clearing and repairing efforts underway. Fire departments from Jefferson and Spring Hill along with the Marengo Disaster Relief quickly arrived at the makeshift headquarters of the relief effort at Robertson Bank on Hwy. 80.

In addition, sheriff’s deputies from Greene and Hale counties were called to help assist on Maria Avenue and in the downtown area.

Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief showed up shortly after the fire departments to offer their services to the community.

Alabama Power trucks began arriving en masse to evaluate the power situation. They surveyed the lines throughout Demopolis to find downed lines. They began restoring power as other groups began removing debris around the city.

Managing Editor Gennie Phillips and Editor Sam R. Hall contributed to this report.