Deaths confirmed as damaging storms rake Alabama - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Deaths confirmed as damaging storms rake Alabama

One person was killed in Pisgah in Jackson County. One person was killed in Pisgah in Jackson County.
A tornado hit Arab Wednesday afternoon. A tornado hit Arab Wednesday afternoon.
Many homes were damaged on Glendale Road in Arab. Many homes were damaged on Glendale Road in Arab.
Multiple fatalities were reported in Phil Campbell. Multiple fatalities were reported in Phil Campbell.

At least 30 people are dead after thunderstorms roared through Alabama with winds near hurricane force causing damage severe enough for the governor to declare a state of emergency.

Madison County authorities confirmed at least one death near Toney. Crews are working to clear debris from roadways to get to more victims.

Four people are confirmed in Lawrence County.

The Emergency Management Agency confirmed a fatality in Pisgah on County Road 359. The coroner had difficulty getting to the scene because of the storm damage. 45-year-old Cathy Gray was killed and her husband was taken to Highlands Medical Center. Two more people were confirmed dead in Pisgah Wednesday afternoon.

What is believed to be a tornado hit Arab Wednesday afternoon. At least six people are dead in the Marshall County town. A mobile home park in Union Grove was leveled.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Albertville Recreation Center, 915 McKinney Avenue, for Marshall County residents needing shelter as a result of today's storm damage.

Dispatchers in Phil Campbell reported multiple fatalities in the area. It's unknown how many people are dead. The power is out in the area and emergency responders are having a difficult time getting to patients. WAFF 48 News reporter Nick Lough said the town is unrecognizable and many homes have been destroyed. At least a dozen people are missing in Phil Campbell.

Cullman County sheriff's spokesman Jay Pendergrass said Wednesday that one person was killed when a tree fell on top of a car in the north Alabama county. Pendergrass said another person was trapped inside the same car and emergency responders were working to free that person.

The storms sweeping through Alabama early Wednesday snapped trees, damaged buildings and left more than 260,000 utility customers without power. The National Weather Service didn't immediately confirm twister damage, but forecasters issued several tornado warnings and said winds blew as hard as 70 mph, just short of hurricane force.

Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency, saying tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, hail, and straight line winds caused damage to "numerous homes and businesses" in Alabama.

Bentley said that the state will apply for federal assistance as affected counties recover from this disaster.

Road closure information is available at the Alabama Department of Transportation website: http://aldotgis.dot.state.al.us/RoadClosures/Default.aspx


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

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