A thunderstorm that struck the Decatur area between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Monday knocked down traffic lights and trees and left 8,600 Decatur Utilities customers without power.
Trees and limbs were down throughout Southwest Decatur. Traffic lights were down near Austin Middle School, the old Cedar Ridge Middle, at the intersection of Danville Road Southwest and Modaus Road. Traffic lights were also down at Danville Road and Carridale Street Southwest.
A wooden utility pole was snapped at its base at Danville and Modaus roads, and workers with Temple Inc. said they expected to work all night in an effort to restore traffic signals to the busy intersection before school started this morning.
After dark Monday, street lights and traffic signals through much of Southwest Decatur were inoperable.
Todd Barron, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Huntsville, said the damage was from a thunderstorm.
“It wasn’t a big weather system or anything like that,” he said. “It’s summer time in Alabama. You’re going to get some thunderstorms.
"We did have some wind, and there are reports of trees down around the area.”
He said the storm appeared to taper off in the Decatur area about 6:30 p.m. Barron said .58 of an inch of rain had been recorded at Pryor Field by Monday evening, but accumulations probably were higher in downtown Decatur and areas near Trinity.
Decatur Utilities was dealing with power outages for about 31.6% of its customers.
DU spokesman Joe Holmes said that, as of 8 p.m., service had been restored to all but 2,700, or about 10%, of its customers. He said problems were caused by both wind and lightning.
"Crews are working to restore remaining substations and will then begin addressing smaller pockets of outages and individual calls," Holmes said.
The majority of the customers without power at 8 p.m. were served by the Greenacres Substation located in the area of Spring Avenue just south of Betty Street Southwest, Holmes said.
The largest outages — those affecting more than 500 customers — were along Modaus Road Southwest west of Danville Road, in the Carridale Street Southwest area and near Pointe Mallard Estates, according to a DU outage map.
Morgan County Emergency Management Agency Director Eddie Hicks did not respond to calls Monday evening.