Fort Payne Storm Damage: Apartments & Recycling Business Damaged, Some Injuries

FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) – At least two people were injured when a strong storm system ripped through Fort Payne overnight.  Two apartment complexes were heavily damaged, along with a recycling business, and two homes were destroyed.

WHNT News 19’s Beth Jett reports two people were injured and taken by ambulance to the hospital in Fort Payne. They were in their home which was destroyed by the storms. Carolyon McBrayer and her husband Troy suffered scratches, cuts and bruises from debris falling on them and hitting them.

Carolyon told WHNT NEWS 19 that she had just finished a prayer, asking God to protect her and her loved ones, when the storm hit. After the violence was over, she called out to her husband, “We’re alive!”

Two apartment complexes were damaged, including Mountain View Apartments on Gault Avenue.  Power crews worked at the complex through the night to repair lines and restore service.

Gault Avenue is open, but crews are working between the areas of 45th and 55th streets – so please use caution if you head that way.  Most of the work is being done on 55th Street, where the apartments are located.

Fort Payne High School and Middle School are both open, so you can head that way if you need to.  They were not damaged.

Jet Polymer Recycling plant also sustained damage. Five tractor trailers were thrown around on the property, slamming into each other. One ended up on the roof.

The plant lost 50% of its power. But workers didn’t stop. They helped each other, utilizing the power they did have.

The company owner said he’s aiming to have the mess cleaned up and the plant fully operational by Monday morning.

Fort Payne Mayor Larry Chesser got the call about the damage to his city around 1:30 Friday morning.

By the afternoon, Chesser was optimistic that people would have the debris cleaned up and power crews would have power restored by the end of the day Friday.

Fort Payne Fire & Rescue has been working through the night at Jet Polymer Recycling facility, which is also Gault Avenue just off of Interstate 59.  WHNT News 19’s Laura Christmas reports at five tractor trailers flipped at that location, and the roof is torn off in places.

Power to half of the building is gone.  WHNT News 19’s Tim Hanson talked with plant representatives, who say the goal is to return to full operation by the first of next week. The plant asks all employees to report to work Friday – you’ll either do your normal duty if it’s in the portion of the business that has power, or assist with cleanup.

A wrecker is on the scene to remove the tractor trailers.  Company officials are on the scene to assess the damage to the business.

Jet Polymer produces and sells recycled plastic products.

WHNT News 19’s crew in Fort Payne is working to get more specific details on the storm damage.  We’ll have live reports Friday on WHNT News 19 This Morning.

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