Storm shakes Dallas County

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 27, 2005

At 7 p.m., Brett Howard’s eyes were already red-rimmed.

“Looks like it’s going to be a long night,” he radioed to a Monroeville emergency service provider.

Howard, the Director of the Dallas County Emergency Management, along with representatives from the Salvation Army, the Sheriff’s Department, the Selma Fire Department and other emergency service providers spent the night in the EMA office.

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“We’re looking for some severe weather,” Howard said.

At about 9:30 p.m., Dallas County was already the the victim of hail, and one tornado was spotted, prompting a tornado watch that lasted about an hour.

Despite the trouble, at about 10:30 p.m., no damage had been reported.

Unfortunately, Howard said the county was still in danger.

“There’s a very good chance of tornados,” Howard said, from about 2 to 7 a.m. “They’re (the National Weather Service) almost guaranteeing golf-ball sized hail.”

It probably wouldn’t end on Easter Sunday, Howard said.

“They’re saying (the weather will) probably break off around 8 a.m. and reforming and doing it again tomorrow afternoon,” he said.

Through the Saturday night and Sunday morning, Howard said it was possible power outages and property damage from high winds, hail and possibly tornados would occur.

“(The Emergency Operating Center) will be activated in case we need to open any shelters and clear roads and things like that,” Howard said.

To report any problems with power, property damage or blocked roads, Howard said to call the EMA office at 874-2515.

Howard said the EMA would be working as long as the storm did.

“We’ll going to go as long as we go,” he said to his comrade in Monroeville.