The major impact of high winds during hurricane season

During high winds, not only can you see limbs shake , but you can even see trees completely break and find new homes on powerlines or your home.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 9:13 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Tropical systems are never a one-size fits all when it comes to damage and restoring what’s been broken.

During high winds, not only can you see limbs shake violently from their usual calm locations, but you can even see trees completely break, whether that be in half or directly from their roots to the Earth.

Powerlines pose their own problems as well once trees get involved.

“We do have devices that sense faults such as downed lines or trees and lines, that sort of thing, that are intended or designed to interrupt power and de-energize the circuit in those events,” said Ginger Dean with Alabama Power. Dean makes it her mission to get crews on the scene as soon as these disasters strike.

“We never want anyone to attempt to clear lines, clear debris, trees, poles out of the way,” said Dean. “Anytime there is a downed power line, always assume it is energized.”

Each situation is different, as Dean further explains, “once you get into that category 3 with the wind speeds you know well over a 100 miles per hour, of course, then we are starting to see very extensive damage.”

Another crucial problem is big trees falling into your yard during these heavy winds. A little preparation can go a long way, according to Houston County EMA Deputy Director Leigh Martin.

“We’ve seen trees that have cut houses in half, or fell on bedrooms, on living areas,” said Martin. “We just recommend that you find a contractor that’s reliable, that you trust, and make arrangements to get that done in the off season.”

While some trees seem harmless of creating any damage, all it takes is one strong gust to topple these large portions of nature onto your home.

Martin blames Hurricane Michael for making a major mess in Houston County. “That was the strongest, and we are just very fortunate that as much damage as it did, it was in the more rural areas, and we didn’t have a whole lot of infrastructure in the City of Dothan.”

Martin also explains that when these sorts of events happen, it’s not just an impact on you. It’s a major impact on your entire community. “Be a good neighbor. Check on those that are elderly, that don’t have mobility. Let’s not ride out the storms if we don’t have to.”

If you choose to remove trees on your own, always call 811 before you dig to save you from running into problems with wires or other hazards.

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