People across 18 counties in Alabama worked Tuesday to cleanup widespread damage caused by a line of severe thunderstorms Monday that left thousands of people without power.
The storms moved quickly through central and parts of southern Alabama Monday afternoon. Many viewers, as well as the National Weather Service, reported hail, especially in Chilton, Walker, Blount, Jefferson, Calhoun and Etowah counties. People all over Alabama reported widespread power outages and damage from downed trees.
Etowah County PIO Patrick Huselton said Monday evening that 8 people were injured during Monday's storms, but he couldn't confirm the severity of their injuries. He says that in addition to wind damage, 11 homes were damaged or destroyed in Sardis City.
Two shelters were opened Monday night in Etowah County for those who had damage to their homes or were without power. The shelters were closed Tuesday morning.
Two college campuses also had their share of damage. In Jacksonville, some JSU students are getting help finding new housing after the roof was ripped off of the Campus Inn Apartments. On the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, a large tree was uprooted and landed in front of Moore Hall.
The Birmingham office of the National Weather Service said Tuesday there is no evidence so far of tornado damage.
"Based on the radar data and damage reports we have received thus far, the far dominant evidence is that this was solely a thunderstorm wind damage and large hail event in our forecast area," said John De Block, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service Birmingham Forecast Office.
De Block said the Huntsville office is investigating possible tornado damage in northeast Alabama that may extend into Cherokee County. That will be determined later today.
De Block said a wind gust of 88 mph was recorded on the shores of Neely Henry Lake near Gadsden. He said the reading is a reminder that thunderstorm winds can be as destructive as an EF-1 tornado.
As of 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, Alabama Power reported 96,000 customers were still without power, down from more than 222,000 Monday afternoon.
Click here to view more photos of storm damage and hail.
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