Possible Tornado Hits Small AL Town 01/20 10:00
WETUMPKA, Ala. (AP) -- A possible tornado caused significant damage Saturday
to a small Alabama city's downtown, leveling several buildings after an intense
storm passed through the area.
Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis told the Montgomery Advertiser that one injury
was reported, but it wasn't serious.
A senior center and the police department were among the buildings damaged
from the afternoon storm, he said. Video from the scene showed several
collapsed buildings, overturned cars and toppled trees and power lines.
State emergency management officials estimated 35 homes throughout Elmore
County were damaged, according to WSFA-TV . That doesn't include businesses,
churches and other structures.
"It's bad, when you love a place as much as we love Wetumpka, to see this
devastation," said Willis, who was grateful for the lack of injuries.
"If this had been during the week with schools in session (or) Sunday
morning with churches at worship, it would have been absolutely devastating as
far as injuries and even fatalities," he told the newspaper. "We'll come back.
We'll clean up and come back."
Alabama Power said about 2,000 customers were without service Saturday in
Wetumpka, and crews were evaluating the damage, WSFA-TV reported.
Wetumpka is in central Alabama, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northeast of
Montgomery. The federal government estimated the city's population to be about
8,100 in 2017.
Damage also was confirmed in nearby Autauga County.
A mobile home overturned near the Independence community, but no injuries
were reported, Sheriff Joe Sedinger said.
The National Weather Service in Birmingham said radar indicated a tornado
was in the area.