Alabama storms damage buildings, knock out power; tree falls on mobile home, killing woman

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Fast-moving storms toppled a tree onto a mobile home, killing a woman, and high winds damaged buildings and knocked out power to thousands of customers across Alabama.

Utility crews had restored service to about 100,000 customers during the overnight hours and Alabama Power reported that about 7,000 customers were still without service Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service confirmed a weak tornado with winds as strong as 85 mph toppled trees along a 6-mile path in Marion County. Survey teams also were assessing damage in the Tuscumbia and Cullman areas, said Tim Troutman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Huntsville.

The storm dumped as much as 5 inches of rain in northwest Alabama, in an area south of Birmingham, and near the Florida line in south Alabama, the weather service said.

In Walker County, Shirley Hicks, 75, died Monday night when she was crushed by a large tree that fell on her mobile home in Burnwell, county Coroner J.C. Poe said.

Poe said Hicks' husband was also in the mobile home about 25 miles northwest of Birmingham and was taken to a local hospital by relatives. Details on his condition weren't immediately available.In Cullman County, winds downed half a dozen trees on the Childhaven campus, home to about three-dozen children. No injuries were reported.

In Tuscumbia, two people were in the sun room of their home when a tree crashed into it, sending the second floor crashing on to the first floor and the couple, the TimesDaily reported. Rescue crews freed Fran Simpson through the side of the home after digging through the wreckage, then rescued John Simpson by going through the front of the house, the newspaper reported. Both were taken to Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield for evaluation.

In Marengo County, the emergency manager reported Monday that a roof was blown off a Laundromat near Demopolis.

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