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Storm causes damage in Hartselle

Workers from Hartselle Utilities clear a tree from Sparkman Street Wednesday morning. Click on this photo to see a photo gallery of the storm damage. | Clif Knight

A strong thunderstorm early Wednesday uprooted several large trees, damaged a storage building and disrupted power briefly for some families in Hartselle.

Straight-line wind gusts uprooted a 60-foot oak tree on South Sparkman Street at the home of Gwynn Wesson about 5:15 a.m.  The tree blocked north and southbound traffic for more than two hours while a crew from Hartselle Utilities used chainsaws to cut it up and remove it.

“We have a concern for a main water line that is located in the right-of-way where the tree stood,” said Hartselle Utilities General Manager Ferrell Vest. “Hopefully it’s OK. We’re also being cautious about removing limps from the top of the tree because they are lying across TV cable and telephone lines.

Vest said he was waiting for an assessment from Electric Department Superintendent Jonathan Hampton on power outages but didn’t expect any major problems.”

A spokesman for the Hartselle Public Works Department said he knew of trees down on Bethel Street and Shaw Road.

A storage building at the Joe Wheeler EMC office on North Sparkman Street was blown off its foundation.

On Forest Chapel Road, a tree fell on a utility shed, which housed a camper and a tractor. Both vehicles were damaged.

Three pecan trees were reportedly knocked down on Jones Road, but they didn’t appear to cause significant structural damage.

Brewer High School was also forced to close Wednesday because the school doesn’t have power.

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