Servants prepared for severe weather

Published 9:29 pm Thursday, September 17, 2009

It was a small tornado that didn’t do much damage, but try telling that to someone watching the twister touch down.

Chilton County dodged a bullet Wednesday when a tornado in Lomax turned out to be an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. We were fortunate the tornado was small for obvious reasons but also because no tornado warning or watch was issued before the storm hit.

The National Weather Service isn’t to blame. Meteorologists there can’t see something that isn’t on the radar, and Scott Unger with the service said, “There is no information on radar that would lead us to believe there was a tornado on the ground.”

But Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell was one of several officers that caught a first-hand glimpse at the twister. Officers immediately came across the scanner with news of the tornado, and Stilwell asked that the severe weather siren be sounded.

Though winds reached 60-70 miles per hour, the tornado might not have been big enough to cause any real damage. Next time, we might not be so lucky.

But at least we can count on having public servants on the scene and willing to notify residents when the weather gets rough.