No heat or flood advisories are expected today in Anniston, said Aaron Gleason, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Birmingham. The city saw 1.55 inches of rain fall between 7 a.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. Monday, over which time thunderstorms and strong winds shut off power and damaged homes in the area. More than 100 customers in Calhoun County were still without power as of 1 p.m. according to Alabama Power.
Despite the destruction, no serious injuries had been reported in Oxford, Anniston, or Jacksonville or by the County Sheriff’s Office on Monday.
Oxford police Lt. L.G. Owens said the only real storm damage in the city happened at Billy Bailey Auto Sales on U.S. 78, where the business’ front marquee was blown away.
Jacksonville police Chief Tommy Thompson and Calhoun County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Matthew Wade said their areas went mostly unscathed by the storms.
Much of the destruction in the county Sunday centered on downtown Anniston, where storm damage shut down streets throughout the night. Police and city workers had to clear debris from parts of Noble Street between Sixth and Seventh streets after the roof of Miller’s Office Furniture was blown off by powerful winds. Despite the destruction, the store’s owner, Phyllis Dill, said the business escaped with only minor internal damage.
“There are a few leaks here and there, but we’re open for business,” Dill said this morning. “We’re in pretty good shape.”
Other spots in the city were still inaccessible this morning. Parts of Third Street near the intersection of Leighton Avenue, where a tree had fallen on a car, were still blocked off around 10 a.m.
“I guess they got other stuff to work on,” said Christine Vines, whose 1996 Dodge Intrepid was smashed by the downed tree in front of her house on Third Street. Vines said she had just gone inside her house late Sunday afternoon when she heard the tree fall on her car.
“It wasn’t all that loud,” Vines said. “It was just like a big gust of wind.”
Vines said the tree fell down the side of her house, hitting her car and falling across the street into her neighbor’s yard. The fortunate thing, she said, was no one got hurt.
“I wasn’t so worried about the car,” Vines said. “I can always get another car. My daughter wants me to drive less anyway.”
And if the storm had any other silver lining besides the lack of injuries reported, it’s some relief from the heat. Gleason said thanks to the cloud cover, a heat advisory for Anniston and the surrounding area has been waived for the day. High temperatures are expected to top out at 89 degrees.
The slightly cooler weather won’t hang around for long, though.
“Assuming the clouds get out of here it’ll be hot again tomorrow,” Gleason said. “Probably back up to mid-90s.”