Tornado wrecks homes in Ala.; no word if injuries

March 2, 2012 - 11:47 AM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A reported tornado destroyed several houses in northern Alabama as storms threatened more twisters across the region Friday, two days after a storm system killed 13 people in the Midwest and South.

There was no immediate word on any injuries from local emergency officials. But the Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Office says ambulances are responding to neighborhoods near Huntsville.

Madison County emergency managers said in a statement that several houses were "leveled" in one neighborhood in the Walker Lane area.

WAFF-TV aired video of crushed homes outside Huntsville. The station also reported that storms caused extensive damage in the small community of Meridianville, where people were trapped in cars.

Forecasters warned of severe thunderstorms with the threat of tornadoes crossing a region from southern Ohio through much of Kentucky into Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

Thousands of Alabama schoolchildren were getting out of class early Friday because the threat of tornadoes and other severe weather across the northern half of the state.

More than 20 school systems say they are dismissing classes early Friday because of the possibility of severe storms. Otherwise, the bad weather could hit around the time schools normally dismiss for the day, based on predictions from the National Weather Service.