Wiregrass 2008: Weather

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

While much of the United States was pounded by hurricanes, wildfires and blizzards, the Wiregrass had its share of bad weather in 2008.

The year started off with a hard freeze warnings.

That kept firefighters on alert for house fires.

"Each year we have several fires from those heaters being activated," says Danny Appling, January 1st.

By mid February, a tornado in northern Coffee County near the Pike County line…

"A tornado you could see through the window," says Currie McLanney, Feburary 18.

and in Dale County near Ariton.

"Wind started picking up and got, like scary," says Kerry Adams, February 18.

Fortunately, no one was injured.

In late February, Florida’s Panhandle was hit with heavy rain causing flooding in Panama City and Caryville.

"This is the first time I've seen it do this in 8 years. Even hurricanes weren't this bad," says Joe Allmond, February 22.

It was another hot, southern summer.

"It’s been rough, rough summer," says Debbie Reed, June 24.

We entered the hurricane season a little more prepared.

Headland installed a new weather siren, and some of you in Ozark built personal storm shelters.

"I’m very afraid of storms, very," says Betty Alverson, July 8.

"$6,000 is a small price to pay to make sure that your family's safe," says Robert Marsh, July 8.

Of the five major hurricanes, Hurricane Gustav brought us evacuees and Hurricane Ike sent our gas prices soaring.

Fay was a nasty lingering storm... Making landfall four times causing roads to wash in parts of Houston County and Northwest, Florida.

"Yes, it ruins the vehicle, you have to be constantly on your toes so you don't go into a ditch," says John Grantham, August 27.

Damaging homes in Houston County and canceling the Inaugural Grand Lagoon National Fishing Tournament in Panama City.

22 Georgia counties were declared a natural disaster.

Afterward, Houston County approved a disaster debris removal

"We’ll be able to bring contractors in within 24 hours," says Engineer Mark Pool, August 25.

Severe weather in October did more than just damage buildings…

A tornado brought back painful memories in Coffee County...

"It sounded similar to what I heard in March 2007," says Angela DeRamus, October 9.

"The wind started picking up. It just started blowing stuff around. You started hearing glass break. I knew then we were being hit by a tornado," says Mickey McCrummen, October 8.

and led to an argument over student safety in Dale County.

"I felt like my rights as a parent were being jeopardized," says Kathy Johnson, October 10.

"It's our responsibility to make sure they remain in our care until we release them," says Superintendent Phillip Parker, October 10.

One more heavy rainfall came in mid December.

Parts of Newton, Dothan and Elba were flooded.

"It looks like a lake. It's really a lot of water," says Christina Kendall, December 11.

In the end, we rang in the New Year with clear skies and freezing temperatures.

Tomorrow, we will wrap a look at Wiregrass 2008: Crimes and Fatalities.

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