Bradley once again dodges worst storms
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Apr 30, 2014 | 722 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Emergency managers were ready and positioned just in case weather conditions worsened Tuesday evening. Forecasters from the National Weather Service were continuing to call for the possibility of severe thunderstorms that could spawn tornadoes.

A storm system that claimed lives and caused property damage, destroying homes in several states, continued to move into areas of Georgia and North Carolina, but Bradley County was spared.

Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Spence said resources and people were in place, just in case the system began to develop and produce more storms.

On Monday evening, heavy storms and torrential rainfall produced flooding and damage to trees and power lines in a number of areas. Some homes suffered minimal damage overall, according to Spence.

NWS forecasters predicted 4-6 inches of rainfall during a three-day period, which ends today. A Flood Watch continues until 4 p.m. today.

After a NWS briefing Tuesday afternoon at the Cleveland-Bradley Emergency Operations Center, city and county school directors made the decision to cancel some after-school activities that required travel, but some went on as planned as long as those holding events agreed to continue monitoring any impending storm developments.

“We got lucky,” said Spence regarding Monday night’s weather, and repeated the assessment for Tuesday night’s potential.

Ham radio operators associated with the Auxiliary Communications Service were collecting weather reports from across the region and relaying real-time information to emergency managers. ACS works under the CBCEMA umbrella of resources.

The storms, organized yet fragmented, caused Severe Thunderstorm Watches and warnings, and escalated at times to Tornado Watches and warnings.

Rogue storms also popped up during the unstable conditions.

Spence called for a partial activation of the Emergency Operations Center for closer monitoring and resources. Managers were on duty Tuesday evening at the EOC in the event of further storm development.

On Monday evening, 105 Bradley County residents took advantage of going to the three Bradley County Fire Station’s Safe Rooms which were constructed under Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines, according to Bradley County Fire Chief Troy Maney.

Provisions for pets were not available, but after Tuesday’s meetings, plans were put in place to house domestic pets at Park View Elementary School on Minnis Road, the Waterville Community Fire Station and at the Georgetown Road Fire Station.

Recently, a portable Disaster Preparedness Kennel was introduced by CBCEMA. It will be utilized in the event of storm shelter activation for a prolonged sheltering event.

Sunshine is expected to return Thursday as the system continues to produce spotty rain chances in the region today.