Schools closing, storm threat again

What emergency management authorities are calling “a potent storm system” is expected to move across the region again Wednesday, April 5.

This is the second round of potentially severe storms to hit the Wiregrass this week.

The Daleville, Ozark and Dale County Schools will be closed all day Wednesday, April 5.

The Enterprise City, Coffee County and Elba City Schools will be closed all day Wednesday, April 5.

The weather shelter at Enterprise High School will open at 5 a.m. Wednesday, according to city of Enterprise Communications Director Jason Wright. The weather shelter at the Daleville Cultural and Convention Center will be open at 8 a.m., according to Daleville Mayor Jayme Stayton.

Carroll High School in Ozark will be open as an emergency storm shelter at 8 a.m., according to Ozark City Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick McInturff.

Coffee County Emergency Management Agency Director Larry Walker and Dale County Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt McDaniel said Tuesday that damage was minimal and there were no injuries reported in their respective counties during the severe weather that arrived Monday morning, April 3.

“We dodged the bullet Monday, but it looks like we’ll have to do it again Wednesday,” Walker said. “Aside from some trees/limbs down in various places, we had no ‘major’ damages nor any power outages that I am aware of.

“There was one residence in the northern end of the county that had some damage to the roof, a window knocked out and a small metal building was badly damaged,” Walker added. “I am happy to report we had no reported injuries.”

McDaniel, who had posted “Our God is bigger than any storm,” on the Dale County EMA Facebook, reposted the prayer late Monday afternoon. “I’m reposting as this was proven today for sure,” McDaniel said. ‘Thank you, God, for your protection and blessings for no injuries and minor damage throughout the county as the potential was great for things being worse.”

Wednesday’s weather forecast echoes Monday’s, except that the severe storms are expected to arrive shortly after daybreak. “Current timing brings storms into western portions of the area by mid to late Wednesday morning, with the main threat lasting into Wednesday night,” according to the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Fla.

The storms are expected to be capable of destructive wind gusts as high as 70 miles per hour and could produce strong, long-track tornadoes in the Wiregrass, which is being called a moderate risk area.

Destructive wind gusts as high as 70 miles per hour will be possible and hail potentially as large as golf ball size will be possible, the weather service reports. “All modes of severe weather will be possible.”

All city and county schools in Dale and Coffee Counties were closed Monday.

Daleville Mayor Jayme Stayton opened the Daleville Cultural and Convention Center and Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell and Enterprise City Schools Superintendent Greg Faught opened part of Enterprise High School to serve as severe weather shelters.

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