White City Community Community Center roof damamge

Hanceville-area residents accustomed to casting their ballots at the White City Community Center will have a new place to vote when the March 3 primary election rolls around — thanks to Mother Nature.

Voters used to showing up at the community center currently don’t have a usable community center to show up to, in the wake of an EF-1 March tornado that heavily damaged the building.

With no funding to rehabilitate the facility in time for the primary election, the Cullman County Commission recently agreed with a recommendation from the probate judge’s office to move voting at the center to an alternate location — the Johnson’s Crossing Volunteer Fire Department station No. 1.

Located just north of Hanceville off U.S. Highway 31 near the intersection of Highway 31 and County Road 616, the fire station will function just as a regular voting precinct for residents who formerly cast their ballots at White City. Only the venue will change, and the same voting procedure — a poll worker checking eligible voters’ names against a valid form of ID presented on election day — will still apply.

The White City Community Center sustained heavy structural damage during a small but powerful weather outburst on March 14 that tore the roof off the facility and damaged a handful of additional structures in Hanceville and Holly Pond. No one was injured in the tornado, although a White City home near the community center was destroyed, while tree and building damage also was reported at both Welti and Holly Pond.

With no current plans in place to restore the community center, White City voters may be casting their ballots at Johnson’s Crossing for some time to come, a probate representative told officials at the commission’s Nov. 26 regular meeting. That means the station will likely be where White City voters need to go when the general election rolls around on Nov. 3 of next year.

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