Microburst to Blame For Moulton Damage

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MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) - Strong winds and rain ripped through Lawrence County Thursday night.  They blew down trees and power lines and knocked out electricity for several hours.

Crews worked through the night getting power restored.  However, debris from homes and businesses is still scattered across several streets.

Crews from the National Weather Service say the brunt of the storm lasted just 10 minutes, but straight line winds did a lot of damage all across town.

Remnants of the storm remain from Highway 157 to the heart of downtown Moulton.  The National Weather Service surveyed the damage from the air and said a microburst is to blame.

"The heavier damage, the most significant damage, is spotty. But a lot of the damage is pretty widespread across the city of Moulton, over four or five miles," said Chris Darden, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

The wind took hold of grain bins at the Lawrence County Exchange.  Now, all that's left is mangled metal, twisted beyond repair.

"I knew there was lightning around, typical summertime thunderstorms, so I wasn't really concerned about the high winds," said Moulton Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter.  "But when it hit, they were here."

An empty furniture building on Court Street is demolished.  The building's insulation is bare, and piles of concrete blocks make up the landscape for passersby.  The entire back side was ripped off by the force of Mother Nature. 

"The wind can pick up dramatically in a short period of time and just as quickly as they develop, they are gone," Darden said.

Emergency crews report more than 70 homes were damaged by debris.   Big trees were snapped all across town.

At the intersection of College and Main, a house remains covered with tree limbs, even blocking the front entrance.

Chief McWhorter says two people were hurt during the storm, but they only suffered minor injuries.

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