Close Call: Tropical Storm Isidore slides through Brewton
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
Strong winds and rain poured down on Escambia County Wednesday and Thursday, but most local officials said that damage from the storm was minimal.
Tropical Storm Isidore slammed into the Louisiana coast on Thusday, bringing rains and high winds to most of southeast. Coastal floods were reported along the coasts of Mississippi, Florida and Alabama.
The rain that fell onto the Brewton area helped lift the level of Murder Creek from eight inches on Monday to 16 feet on Thursday afternoon. The level continued to rise as rainfall to the north began to flow southward into the area.
At one point, the National Weather Services estimated the creek would crest at 26 feet, four feet above the flood level. However, the level never reached that height.
With one eye on the sky and the other on local creeks and other flood points, street and road workers in Brewton, East Brewton and throughout the county had their hands full. When the clouds passed and the rains stopped, most admitted that things could have been much worse.
Smith said there was no major structural or flood damage reported in Escambia County as a result of the weather. However, neighbors to the south were not so lucky.
On Wednesday evening, the Escambia County School Board opted to close schools on Thursday as a safety precaution due to the anticipated rainfall. The day will have to be made up later in the school year.
Alabama Power worked most of the day Thursday repairing power lines and restoring electricity. According to Danny D'Andrea 1,200 customers reported power outages.
Southern Pine General Manager Jim Byrd said that most power outages in their service area were reported throughout Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Byrd said power was restored to most residents by early evening on Thursday.
As power was restored, street workers and police officers in Brewton and East Brewton stayed busy clearing fallen trees, cleaning drainage paths and directing traffic away from flooded streets.
There was an accident at the intersection of Florida Street and Williamson Street in East Brewton on Thursday that resulted in three injuries. The extent of those injuries could not be verified. The accident is still under investigation and it is unknown if the weather played a role.