Hale County residents not enthused about severe weather, but preparations are under way
Hale County hasn’t had the best luck when it comes to escaping bad weather, so the area knows every moment matters ahead of a storm.
“We have had six tornado touchdowns in the last year,” said Hale County Emergency Management Agency Director Russell Weeden.
Weeden said the EMA takes severe weather threats seriously; they monitor incoming storms, strategize post-storm cleanup and ensure response vehicles are prepped and ready to go before the first drops of rain think about falling.
“We are expecting trees to go across roads, power lines, that kind of stuff. So I feel like everyone is on the same page and we are ready to go,” Weeden said.
First responders preach this message constantly. Stay weather alert, have a severe weather plan and be ready to implement it. That’s something Hale County residents have learned the hard way, Weeden said.
“I feel like (residents) take it a lot more seriously because they or their families have been impacted,” Weeden said. “We get a zillion calls down here on what to do and we try to go over their tornado plan or bad weather plan needs to be.”
That includes being prepared for hail.
“If it is large parameter hail like golf ball-sized, it can knock your window out or damage your vehicle,” Weeden said. “We are telling people if they can put their vehicles in a barn or whatever to protect it from the large hail, that is what we are putting out. If it is baseball-sized hail, it can kill you.”
Hale County resident Michael Evans said he feels like Hale County can’t catch a break when it comes to bad weather.
“Back to back to back to back,” Evan said. “It comes and leaves and them comes back again, right back. It is seems like it is just a coincidence. Like I said, it comes right down 14 past the river down here, so I mean we have been having a lot of bad weather right next door through here. It happens all the time. That is why you see storm shelters popping up everywhere now and people doing this and that. They are preparing.”
Weeden said residents can call 911 or the Hale County EMA at 334-624-8160 to report storm damages.