A Sunday-night storm caused damage throughout the county as heavy rainfall and lightning swept through. The county has applied for a disaster declaration.
Events began with a National Weather Service warning at roughly 7:30 p.m. about a possible tornado just to the county’s west. As the storm front gained on the county the winds and rain, along with lightning, caused significant damage as it moved west-to-east across the county, with its most significant impact in the greater Clinton area.
One home on Shake Rag Road burned and was destroyed after being hit by lightning. In a second instance the Clinton Police lost a patrol car after an officer’s home in Formosa, on Highway 9, was struck by flood waters, sweeping the car away.
Clinton Police Chief John Willoughby said the department also had damage to a second patrol vehicle, a pickup truck, receiving some front-end damage as the officer responded to storm-caused emergencies. The truck is repairable, he said.
Reports have rainfall amounts of over 6 inches in a relatively short period of time as the storm reached the county. The Clinton Water Treatment Plant recorded 6 and three-quarter inches of rain.
Flooding was reported at several sites. The county judge’s office reported flooding damage to “private, commercial and church structures” as well as “water and sewer line infrastructure, and numerous state, county, and municipal roads.”
Clinton’s Main Street area had rocks at the School Hill intersection, washed off the hill by the rain. Sources reported water rescues taking place as rising creek waters swept four homes off their foundation. Clinton businesses reported flooding and power outages, with in at least one case a post on social media asking for sandbags to help against flooding at a shopping center.
No significant injuries were reported throughout the county.
Water infrastructure included a temporary line on Highway 65B being swept away by the storm waters. Clinton Water superintendent Dickie Hink said some good fortune was in place at the replacement permanent line, already in place, had passed testing and service was being restored to homes using that line.
Hink said no boil order was expected.
County Judge Roger Hooper said the disaster declaration, made verbally at press time, would not become a formal announcement for five days, if expenses due to storm damage met standards for declaration. If a disaster declaration is accepted, it “… would allow the county, municipalities and schools to receive partial reimbursement from the state for expenses related to disaster recovery,” the Judge’s office stated.
Lynn Creek Drive in Fairfield Bay was washed out but remained passable, Hooper said.