More warnings as storms roll through Alabama
by Star Staff, wire reports
Mar 02, 2012 | 13548 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A storm cell moves eastward across Alabama 21, as cars head north and south just south of Jacksonville. (Photo by Trent Penny)
A storm cell moves eastward across Alabama 21, as cars head north and south just south of Jacksonville. (Photo by Trent Penny)
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Updated 10:26 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued another tornado wanring for The Star's coverage area, this time for southwestern Cleburne County, northeastern Clay County and northwestern Randolph County. The warning is to expire at 11 p.m.

At 10:14 p.m., according to the NWS, the storm was 7 miles southwest of Mount Cheaha, and moving east at 45 mph. Locations in the path of the storm included Mount Cheaha, Fosters Crossroads, Morrison Crossroads, Camp Sequoyah and Chulafinnee.

Read the NWS' warning here.

Updated 7:30 p.m.

So far, there are no reports of damage from a storm that cause a tornado warning in Calhoun County, and dropped a great deal of hail in some areas. But this stormy night isn't over yet.

A warning for Calhoun County expired at 7 p.m. Jacksonville Police and Ohatchee police report no damage from the storm. Coroner Pat Brown told The Star there were no storm-related calls to Calhoun County EMS. Brown said he has driven around Alexandria, and saw no damage there.

Calhoun County EMA officials said they had no reports of damage. Residents in the Whites Gap Road area reported power outages after the storm.

Alabama Power officials reported 220 homes without power in Jacksonville and 430 homes without power in Heflin.

Power company officials aren't sure when the power will be restored. Work crews will not be sent out during storms, officials said, and the power company is working with the National Weather Service to determine when it's safe to work.

Updated 6:20 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Calhoun and Cleburne Counties. Areas affected include Weaver, Ohatchee, Saks, McClellan Jacksonville and Fruithurst. Take cover if you are in these areas.

(Updated 6:12 p.m.)A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for northern Calhoun and southern Cleburne counties, according to an alert from the National Weather Service.

The weather service reported a storm capable of producing quarter-sized hail near Ohatchee, headed east at 45 mph. The storm could affect McClellan and Jacksonville, traveling into the Fruithurst and Muscadine areas in Cleburne County, the warning stated.

(Updated 4:39 p.m.)

The National Weather Service has placed Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Talladega and several other northern Alabama counties under a tornado watch until midnight.

(Updated 2:22 p.m.)

The National Weather Service says severe storms are likely across north Alabama from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. The weather service says there's a chance of long-track tornadoes, strong winds, flooding and large hail.

The parts of the country at highest risk for tornadoes are north of Alabama in Tennessee and Kentucky, but the weather service says northern Alabama still has a medium risk for twisters. Chances of problems are less across the southern end of the state.

Closings and cancellations:
  • Jacksonville State University will close at 4:30 p.m. All classes scheduled after 4:30 p.m. today are cancelled. The Gamecock Express bus system will stop operations at 5 p.m. today. Unless announced otherwise, the university will resume normal operations on Saturday.
  • The Calhoun County baseball tournament will delay its start until Saturday. All planned games will take place at the same locations and time of day, but on Saturday instead of today. [ Story here. ]
  • Jacksonville High School's game against Andalusia High in the girls 4A state basketball championship in Birmingham has been postponed until noon Saturday. [ Story here. ]

  • All campuses of Gadsden State Community College will close at 1 p.m., according to the school's Cardinal Alert system.
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School will dismiss at 12:30 p.m., according to school staff.
  • Wee Care Day Care Center at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville will close at 2:30 p.m., a teacher at the day care said.
  • Staffers at The Donoho School say school officials are monitoring the weather and will make an announcement later in the day.
  • Jacksonville City Schools will close early today as the area prepares for severe weather that is predicted for Alabama. Jacksonville High School will close at 12:25 p.m. today, and Kitty Stone Elementary will close at 1 p.m.
  • Calhoun County Schools will close at 12:30 p.m. according to the school system's weather hotline. All Calhoun County Schools extracurricular activities, including sports events, for today are canceled.
  • Anniston elementary schools will close at 12:15 p.m. Anniston High School will close at 12:45 p.m. Anniston Middle School will close at 1 p.m.
  • Officials of Oxford City Schools say their school system is still operating on its normal schedule. Piedmont City Schools are also operating on a normal schedule.
The Star will update this story, including news of school closings, as more information becomes available.

To report a closing, cancellation or delay for your institution, email closings@annistonstar.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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