Heavy storm damages parts of Valley Grande

Published 5:06 pm Thursday, June 15, 2023

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The National Weather Service Birmingham said Thursday they will review Wednesday’s heavy storm that damaged parts of Valley Grande at a later date.

The heavy storm, which Storm Chasers estimated going over 60 miles per hour and produced hail, damaged several homes in Valley Grande in addition to causing several downed trees and power lines. At press time, several Dallas County residents were still out of power.

Dallas County EMA Director Toya Crusoe said it has not been confirmed by the National Weather Service that a tornado hit Valley Grande.

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A NWS Birmingham spokesperson  said the Valley Grande storm situation will be looked into.

“We have not assessed the situation and have not had time to,” the NWS Spokesperson said.  “We plan to look into the situation at a later date.”

Two Valley Grande officials, Mayor Wayne Labbe and Councilwoman Sara Day, both said that the damage began around County Road 81 around 5 p.m., where the roof of the BP Gas Station, was taken off with downed trees and power lines.  Power is out between County Road 81  and  Highway 22.

“I was standing on my porch when the storm hit,” Labbe said. “It was quick and lasted all of two minutes. “

“On Highway 22, you start noticing damage around Valley Grande City Hall and it is bad County Road 81,” Day said.

Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn was out evaluating the severe storm.

“After speaking to our Superintendent for the road department,  we have trees down across the county,” Nunn said. “Our employees have been out working since yesterday clearing trees off of road and county right of way. They are working hard with the power companies to approval on removing trees that are entangled with power lines.  “We appreciate private citizens, neighbors and the public for working together to clear trees off of houses, businesses and clearing the roads. A lot of properties were damaged by these straight line winds. We ask everyone to be patient with the power companies and county workers as they work to clear roads and restore power to the homes and businesses in Dallas County.”

Several school functions were closed because of the storm, mainly due to power outage, according to Dallas County School officials.

Summer learning camps at Dallas County High School, Valley Grande Elementary School  J.E. Terry Elementary School and Martin Middle School.

Valley Grande Elementary and Martin Middle School had damage from the storm.

“We were fortunate. The only thing that we had happen was we did not have school in the Northern Zone today with the exception of Brantley Elementary,” Dallas County Schools Superintendent  Anthony  Sampson said. “We only had a little down at Valley Grande Elementary and Martin Middle. There were a lot of trees down but they just fell and caused damage to themselves we just need to get those cleaned up. What happened was the internet went down temporarily and there are still some trees down all throughout the northern zone that prohibited busses from running the right way and that was just in collaboration with the Dallas County EMA knowing what the county road situation was.”