2 killed, 100 hurt in Alabama storms

Winter tornadoes and severe storms in Ala. killi two people, injuring 100

BIRMINGHAM, Ala | January 23, 2012

Rare winter tornadoes and other severe storms struck Alabama Monday, killing two people, injuring 100 others and destroying about 170 homes, officials said.

Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency for the state's 67 counties, authorizing the state Emergency Management Agency and other agencies to assist communities and assess damage, The Birmingham News reported.

The News said 21 tornadoes were reported in Alabama and about a half-dozen tornadoes had been reported in Arkansas.

Authorities identified the victims who died -- both near Birmingham -- as Christina Nicole Heichelbech 16, of Clay, and Bobby Frank Sims, 83, of Alliance.

The house where Heichelbech lived was leveled and her body was found in debris next to the family's pool. Her parents, Darrell and Carol Heichelbech, were taken to a hospital. Their 13-year-old son wasn't injured.

Sims had been inside his manufactured home when a storm hit and the structure was thrown 200 feet from its foundation, authorities said. His body was found about 50 feet from the foundation. His wife was taken to a hospital.

Alabama Power spokeswoman Hallie Bradley said the storms uprooted numerous trees and brought down utility poles and power lines, knocking out power to about 25,000 customers, CNN reported.

By noon Monday, 15,100 customers remained without power, most of them in the metropolitan Birmingham area.

Parts of Alabama were still recovering from devastating April tornadoes that killed 248 people, injured more than 2,000, destroyed 7,800 homes and wrecked some entire communities.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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