Sheriff's deputies increase patrol in Salem

March 3, 2009

By Chris Vessell bio | email

SALEM, AL (WTVM) - The streets of Salem are busy with activity as people focus on a cleaning up and rebuilding. As if a tornado wasn't enough, the community is trying protect their property from a different threat.

"If you can save it and get it out - get it out and take it with you. That's what we did. We got all our electronics out and took them with us, because around here you don't know. Somebody can go in anytime," Emanuel Crawford said.

Lee County Sheriff's deputies are on concentrated patrol this week, watching homes in Salem closely. "Based on the impact of the damage there, we're keeping an eye in particular on residences and businesses that suffered the most damage where they have materials and structures exposed," Jay Jones, Lee County Sheriff said.

Another distraction has been heavy traffic in a small town that normally gets very little. "Since this happened, we might see anywhere from 100 to 200 cars a day, and it's actually a nerve-racking thing," Crawford said. While traffic decreased significantly on Tuesday, the Sheriff's Department is advising spectators to keep the roads clear so clean up crews can do their job.

"We do have a lot of people that appear to be coming to the area to take pictures, just curiosity seekers and on-lookers, want to see what the damage is," said Sheriff Jones. "We certainly want to discourage people from doing that," added Sheriff Jones.