By WVUA 23 Web Writer Carolina Chaves

The number of fatalities in Alabama hit a standstill, Tuesday night’s storm downed power lines, knocked down trees and destroyed a number of homes in the surrounding area.

“Everything just stopped and got quiet. 5-10 minutes after that everything just got crazy,” said Bina Patel, who helps operate the Relax Inn. “It was so scary.”

In Marion County, crews worked hard all day to clean up the downed trees, power lines and debris scattered along roadways and even in people’s yards. Multiple reports of damage along Tuscaloosa Co. 44 between the towns of Brilliant and Guin.

In Guin, reporters spoke to members of the Patel family who operate the Relax Inn off U.S. 78. Their business experienced significant damage, but thankfully their family and guests are all safe.

“The roof is gone and everything is flooded in here,” said Heli Patel, another family member who operates the Relax Inn. “It’s just a building. We thank God that we all are OK.”

In the Winston County town of Helicon, volunteer fireman Caleb Farley experienced the effects of the same storm.

Like many first responders, his job began once the storm passed.

“We had to focus on getting the trucks out just in case we had to go on a rescue mission or something like that. Just had to make sure everyone was OK for the most part,” said Farley.

The Patels told reporters the Relax Inn is still open for business as most of the damage was done to the restaurant and office on site.

The Helican Fire Department was damaged, but all of their trucks and equipment were not impacted.

Although the storm dumped as much as five inches of rain in the state, weather experts said the 5 inches of rain did not end the drought. Much of central Alabama received 2 inches of rain and nearly the entire northern half of the state received at least 1 inch. Experts say the state needs more than an inch of rain over several weeks to improve conditions.

Categories: Local News