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Storm causes widespread power outages

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Many in central Alabama were without power on May 5 following a strong storm system that produced at least one confirmed tornado.

A tornado near Parnell and headed toward Maplesville was confirmed by the National Weather Service in Birmingham at 5:34 p.m. on May 4

As of 6 a.m. on May 5, power outages were impacting 1,700 Alabama Power customers in Chilton County.

There were about 50,700 customers without power in Central Alabama as of 6 a.m.

“Work has gone on throughout the night to assess damage and restore power,” Michael Jordan of Alabama power said. “Service was restored to more than 15,000 customers in central Alabama overnight. Damage is extensive and includes numerous reports of broken poles and downed wire as a result of fallen trees.  Due to the extent of tree damage, some areas have remained inaccessible.”

Safety is a major concern in areas that have downed power lines. Jordan said people need to stay away from power lines on the ground or on the road way and avoid driving over them.

Central Alabama Electric Cooperative had 5,800 members without power as of 8 a.m.

“Due to the small and scattered nature of these outages, we cannot give estimation times–crews are simply going from outage to outage trying to get on as many people as they can in the safest and most efficient way we can,” the cooperative stated in a Facebook post. “We appreciate your patience and understanding.”

Chilton County E-911 director Terra Scott said even though there was some property damage from fallen trees and power lines, there were no reports of serious injuries.