Severe storms bring death, injuries, outages to U.S. South

April 28, 2011 — A rash of severe weather has cut a path of destruction across the South, leaving scenes of devastation in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Georgia Thursday morning, April 28.

CNN is reporting that about 202 people were killed in the storms that hit the region Wednesday evening, April 27. Alabama fared the worst in the weather fray, with 131 deaths and major damage across 16 counties.

As of early Thursday morning, Alabama Power had over 363,000 customers without power. Georgia Power reported 52,000 individual outages as well. Statewide across Alabama, Gov. Robert Bentley estimated nearly half a million people were without power.

The governor declared a state of emergency for Alabama Wednesday evening as the storms in the area began to spark tornados, hail and straight line winds. He also mobilized about 1,400 National Guardsmen to provide emergency assistance.

At the peak of the storm Wednesday night, Alabama Power reported 412,229 customers were without power. That compares to the 404,000 outages caused by the blizzard of 1993 and the 239,000 outages that were the result of Hurricane Frederic.

With the 4 a.m. update pulling those numbers down to 363,000, outages by region of the state were: 

·         Birmingham area (Jefferson, Shelby counties) – 168,261

·         Eastern areas (Including Anniston, Gadsden, Oxford) – 43,203

·         Western areas (including Bibb, Walker, Tuscaloosa counties) – 141,071

·         Southern areas (including Selma, Montgomery, Opelika) – 8,504

·         Southeast – 2,470            

The company noted that personnel in the Alabama Power Storm Center are coordinating resources to address power restoration. Alabama Power crews and crews assisting the company from other states worked where they could overnight to restore power.

At the peak of the storm Wednesday night, Georgia Power had 72,000 customers were without power.

At 8 a.m. on April 28, outages by region of the state were:

Northwest Georgia (Rome, Trenton, Cartersville) – 34,000

Northeast Georgia (Madison, Clayton) – 8,000

Western Georgia (Hampton) – 7,000

Metro Atlanta (primarily Jonesboro, Fairburn, Riverdale) – 1,500


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