Twisters Wreak Havoc Across U.S.

March 2, 2012 by staff 

Twisters Wreak Havoc Across U.S., Apparent tornadoes destroyed houses, sent people to hospitals and tore up the roof of a maximum security prison in northern Alabama as bad weather threatened more twisters across the region Friday, two days after storms killed 13 people in the Midwest and South.

Anxiety mounted across a wide swathe of the US where forecasters said strong storms could hit later in the day. Thousands of schoolchildren in several states were sent home as a precaution. Meanwhile, residents in parts of Illinois hit hard by the twisters earlier in the week salvaged what they could from damaged homes.

In Alabama, five people were taken to hospitals, and several houses were leveled by what authorities believed were tornadoes Friday morning. The extent of the people’s injuries wasn’t immediately known, and emergency crews were continuing to survey damage. No deaths were reported.

At least 10 homes were damaged in a subdivision in Athens. Homeowner Bill Adams watched as two men ripped shingles off the roof of a house he rents out, and he fretted about predictions that more storms would pass through.

“Hopefully they can at least get a tarp on it before it starts again,” he said.

Not far away, the damage was much worse for retired high school band director Stanley Nelson. Winds peeled off his garage door and about a third of his roof, making rafters and boxes in his attic visible from the street.

“It’s like it just exploded,” he said.

An apparent tornado also damaged a state maximum security prison outside Huntsville, but none of the facility’s approximately 2,100 inmates escaped. Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said there were no reports of injuries, but the roof was damaged on two large prison dormitories that each hold about 250 men. Part of the perimeter fence was knocked down, but the prison was secure.

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