Tornado ravages homes in Alabama
by The Associated Press
December 10, 2012 11:27 PM | 1485 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An unidentified man stands next to the drive-thru order menu at the McDonalds on Finley Boulevard in Birmingham, Ala., that was destroyed by severe weather on Monday.
An unidentified man stands next to the drive-thru order menu at the McDonalds on Finley Boulevard in Birmingham, Ala., that was destroyed by severe weather on Monday.
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The National Weather Service has confirmed that storm damage Monday morning in Birmingham was caused by a tornado with maximum winds estimated at 90 mph.

No injuries were reported in the storm that hit about 4:45 a.m. in an area near the Birmingham farmer’s market. The tornado touched down near the intersection of Interstate 65 and Finley Avenue.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell says there were no reports of injuries from the severe weather that damaged roofs and broke windows. He said the city provided tarps to residents whose roofs were damaged. The storm damaged a sign at a McDonald’s just off the interstate.

Homeowner Clint Thornton told WBRC-TV that he was about to leave for work when he saw a funnel cloud.

“I turned the key to go out the door. I could see the funnel and all kinds of debris. It was heading right toward our house,” said Thornton.

Thornton was able to get to safety into a closet with his wife, where he said they started praying.

The Thorntons are fine, but nearly all the windows in their home were broken.

The tornado was part of a system of rain and thunder storms that hit Alabama on Monday. National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Westland said the line of severe storms was cause by a cold front that moved into the state. Highs in the state were mostly in the 70s, but were expected to plummet into the low 50s Tuesday.

Westland said the worst storm damage was caused by the Birmingham tornado. But he said downed trees were reported in Autauga and Montgomery counties.

Tornadoes are most common in Alabama in the spring. But Westland said it is not uncommon for tornadoes to form in November and December, which he called the state’s secondary tornado season.

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