Storms leave minor damage in North Alabama

Dark clouds over Huntsville.
Dark clouds over Huntsville.
Storm moving into Limestone County.
Storm moving into Limestone County.
A tree fell in the University of North Alabama parking lot.
A tree fell in the University of North Alabama parking lot.

Strong storms left scattered damage across Alabama Friday.

The first line of storms caused damage and flooding in the Shoals area. A tree was reported over the road on Natchez Trace Parkway at mile marker 322. Flash flooding was also reported on North Pike in downtown Cherokee.

A tree fell in a parking lot on the campus of University of North Alabama in Florence. In the next county over, a live wire fell on an SUV in the parking lot of an Athens KFC after lightning struck a power pole.

No injuries have been reported.

Several school systems in north Alabama released students early as a precaution.

In Guntersville, strong winds ripped out the stakes holding down tents for this weekends Pow Wow Festival.

Racing promoters are also monitoring conditions at the Talladega Superspeedway, where thousands of people are camping and getting ready for three days of stock car races.

Several businesses in the Tennessee Valley closed early or canceled events. Click here for business closings and event cancellations.

The National Weather Service issued a watch for more than half the state, and tornado warnings are coming out as possible twisters move into Alabama.

Further south, an apparent tornado damaged a motel in Tuscaloosa and struck an oil change business, blowing the plastic out of large signs and leaving roads crisscrossed with power poles and trees in places. Sam Packwood said he and his son saw what appeared to be a twister drop out of the sky near Bama Mini Storage, where he works.

"It was a dark funnel coming down," Packwood said in a telephone interview. "The sirens went off and all; it was pretty exciting for 20 or 30 minutes. I hope nobody got hurt."

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Copyright 2011 WAFF. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.