The spring severe weather season has certainly gotten off to a start in the area. The first storm that developed this morning moved through the Northern section of the coverage area this morning and Chief Vaughan snapped the following picture of the lowered base.
There is currently a Tornado Watch out for the area and it is in effect until 2100 this evening. There should be at least one more round of weather that will move through the area tonight. Stay tuned to the NWS radio and local media for frequent updates.
Cuba and Siloam Fire Departments responded to a commercial vehicle fire on US 80 spur at the intersection of Interstate 20-59. Arriving units found a car hauler on fire with three of the vehicles on board becoming involved. Cuba Engine 2 arrived on scene and quickly knocked down the majority of the fire. Siloam tanker was requested in the initial alarm and was caught on film responding along US Highway 80 about a mile from the scene.
The rain event is winding down over the area. The radar estimates indicate that the area received a large amount of rain over the past 48 hours. While no roads in the South Sumter area were reported as flooded there were several locations that didn’t lack much to go under. The drainage ditches and smaller creeks should quickly recede now that the rain shield has moved out of the area. Larger creeks and area rivers will continue to rise for the remainder of the day and could cause some trouble. Stay tuned for further developments.
The potential for severe weather has increased to some extent over the area. While the largest threat of severe weather should stay off to our south and west there is the potential for damaging storms in the Sumter County area. Further, there is a high probability of heavy rain and potential flash flooding in the area. Here are the forecasts maps and discussions at the present moment.
The SPC Convective outlook for today. We are in the slight risk and have seen some hail over the area this morning. However, due to the position of the war front and the lack of surface instability the storms have all been elevated in nature. This could change later in the evening.
Wind Potential (It is clearly evident that we are just out of the high hatched area)
The hail charts
Tomorrow the risk is slight. However, we will see what happens with later forecast packages considering the complex nature of the forecast. The number and strength of the warm fronts will determine much of what is possible.
One thing is certain… Heavy rain and lots of it. Stay tuned for further developments.
South Sumter Fire Departments responded to multiple calls for service over the past few weeks. Many of those calls have involved wildfires, but it is hoped that recent rains and forecasted rains should bring much of that to a close. However, there will always be other types of calls for service and it seems that the numbers have picked up recently. Wednesday started with the Siloam Fire Department being dispatched to an MVA with injuries in the Bellamy area (dispatch error). Units arrived on scene to find one lane of US 80 blocked on top of the Sucarnoochee River Bridge. The accident scene was turned over to the Alabama State Troopers and Simmons Wrecker. The engine had just made it back to quarters when the Cuba Fire Department was dispatched to the Dixie Gas Station on US Highway 11. Arriving units found smoke showing and the store evacuated. Siloam and Kinterbish Fire Departments were requested due to a working fire. After making entry the crew found a small fire in the bathroom of the store and it was quickly brought under control. The cause was accidental in nature and the store received quite a bit of smoke damage from the small fire. With the Chief out over the weekend the prospects of sustained business are looking good.
Siloam Engine 1 on location of the MVA.
Chief Pendergrass does his part in cleaning up the accident.
Vent fans at work in the Dixie State.
Ward/Siloam Firefighter Harvison helps put the hose back on Cuba Engine 2. Even with a busted wing she is hard at work.
The video above is borrowed from the web. As the mission of the fire service changes the impact we have on the people we serve changes. Many of our calls for service involve everything from medical calls to stranded motorists and everything in between. The idea behind the video deals with budget problems and the funding of the fire service. While those needs are important we don’t have quite the problem with that in this area since we don’t have much money to cut. However, the video tells those that don’t know what we do that we do much more than run around and “play” fireman. We serve our communities in ways that many people never see. The men and women that serve the South Sumter area certainly respond to fire, accidents, medical emergencies and other calls for service. I certainly doubt that many people in the area realize that the firefighters in this area partner with the National Weather Service for severe weather spotting and assessment. The firefighters also respond to stranded motorist calls and many other items that are routinely handled by police or other agencies. I say all of this to say one thing… I am proud of all the hometown heroes that serve this area and I hope that you are too!