Severe storms hit Alabama

Tornadoes and other storms in Alabama damage property

NASHVILLE | March 2, 2012

Tornadoes and other storms in parts of Alabama Friday snapped power lines, damaged property and prompted school officials to end classes early.

Officials said several storm-related injuries were reported, but no deaths, The Huntsville Times reported.

Emergency officials said a rain-wrapped tornado was sighted in the Harvest area and that power was out in several areas, the Times reported.

Emergency Management Agency personnel in Limestone County reported two tornadoes touched down one on top of another, but there were no early reports of damage.

Severe weather in northern Madison County knocked down power lines and felled trees, officials said

The Birmingham News reported several school systems across the state closed early because of the threat of severe weather.

Storms also brought the potential for tornadoes to the Ohio and Tennessee valleys Friday, reported.

Severe weather slammed an area extending from Missouri into South Carolina with big chunks of hail, some reported as baseball-sized.

Meteorologists reported St. Louis was hit by hail that measured about a half inch in diameter. In Nashville, hail was described as nickel-sized.

Southeastern Missouri, southern and central Illinois, central and southern Indiana and western Kentucky were under a Potentially Dangerous Situation Tornado Watch issued by the National Weather Service, which said it issues only a handful of that type of watches during a year.

Lines of severe storms cascaded from northern Alabama through central and eastern Tennessee and into Kentucky, forecasters said.

"If you get hit by one storm, you can get hit by another," Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville and Louisville, Ky., were among the cities most at risk for strong, intense and damaging tornadoes, said.

The area is part of a multistate region reporting at least 30 tornadoes responsible for 13 deaths Wednesday, from Nebraska and Kansas across southern Missouri to Illinois and Kentucky.

Six people were killed in Harrisburg, Ill., about 55 miles southwest of Evansville, Ind., when a house lifted up by a 170 mph tornado fell on them and crushed them. Three people were killed in southern Missouri, three in eastern Tennessee and one in northeastern Kansas.

A tornado, with winds of 111 mph to 135 mph, caused significant damage and dozens of injuries in the country music resort city of Branson, Mo. The city's waterfront area, 15 hotels and at least six signature theaters sustained extensive damage, officials said.

President Barack Obama spoke with the Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Kansas governors Thursday "to offer condolences" and federal help, the White House said.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was the first state leader to ask for assistance in damage assessment, a customary step before formally requesting federal aid.

The severe weather was forecast to diminish a bit as it whipped eastward from the nation's midsection toward the Appalachians Friday night, bringing somewhat less severe weather from Georgia through North and South Carolina Saturday.

Topics: Dick Clark, Barack Obama, Pat Quinn

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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