Monday was the day Sharon and Cletis Watson were to have a custom double-wide trailer delivered to their lot in Leighton but in an instant that plan was gone with the wind.
Fierce winds blew a half section of the trailer upside down as workers were preparing to move it to its spot, Sharon Watson said.
The winds were part of a strong thunderstorm that downed trees in Colbert County and brought hail and lightning strikes throughout the region. There were no reports of serious injuries.
Sharon Watson said half of the trailer was delivered about 11 a.m. and set into place. The other half arrived about 2 p.m.
“The next thing we knew, a big gush of wind came in and the workers had to run off because it was hailing,” she said.
The Watsons have been staying in the house of Sharon’s late mother-in-law while waiting for the trailer to be delivered on a nearby lot. Sharon Watson said she was inside the house when the trailer flipped.
“It started raining and the hail picked up and I suddenly heard a ‘blam’ and looked out the window and saw it upside down,” she said. “It’s a good thing the workers ran, because they would have been hit by the trailer if they hadn’t.”
The trailer was custom made in Tennessee — a process that took about three weeks, she said.
“My heart just dropped when I looked out and saw that,” she said. “Your hopes and dreams, there they are, just upside down. But I believe God’s got a reason for this. It’ll be all right.”
Sharon Watson said the workers told her they would build another trailer. “It’ll be another three to four weeks of just waiting and hoping and praying.”
Steve Shumway, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Huntsville, said a strong cold front pushed through north Alabama during the afternoon.
“It was mainly some hail and strong winds,” Shumway said.
He said the peak wind speed reported at the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport was 55 mph at 1:09 p.m.
Mike Melton, director of the Colbert County Emergency Management Agency, said his agency received widespread reports of downed trees. He said a tree landed on a house on Blue Road in Littleville and there were several reports of damage in the Brick-Hatton community.
Melton said a woman driving on Ligon Springs Road in Littleville hit a power line that had drooped across the road from two utility poles weakened by the storm, causing her vehicle to flip. She was not seriously injured.
Routes of some school buses filled with children were delayed while workers cleared trees that blocked roads.
“The children were never in any danger,” Melton said. “The schools didn’t release them until after the storm.”
Lauderdale EMA Director George Grabryan said his county didn’t receive as much damage. He said there were reports of hail in Florence and other areas. A possible lightning strike was reported at the Polynesian Village apartment complex in Florence, he said.
“We mainly just had issues on the far eastern part of the county, around Rogersville, but I think we’re in pretty decent shape,” Grabryan said.
He said one report of damage was to a home at 286 Lauderdale 91, south of Rogersville. Winds peeled a metal roof off the house and pulled up an outbuilding. The debris broke some windows of a nearby pickup.
A lightning strike near Lawrence County High School in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., knocked out the school’s fire alarm system and some phone lines were not working, a school official said.
The school released students at 2 p.m. Students were in school when the lightning strike occurred.
A Sheriff’s Department official said schools were dismissed early because of the possibility of flooding associated with the storm’s heavy downpours.
Grabryan said this is the time of year when these storms are common, and residents need to stay aware of weather conditions.
“They just need to make sure they have a plan,” he said. “A little bit of preparedness is a good thing. You’d much rather have a plan in advance than respond at the time.”
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.
Staff writer Russ Corey contributed to this report.