STORMS Wrack Several States – WSJ

By at March 2, 2012 | 2:33 pm | Print

STORMS Wrack Several States – WSJ

ATHENS, Ala. — Powerful storms stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes flattened buildings in several states, wrecked a small Indiana town and bred anxiety across a wide swath of the country in the second powerful tornado outbreak this week.

Widespread damage was reported in southern Indiana, where Clark County Sheriff’s Department Maj. Chuck Adams said the town of Marysville is “completely gone.” Dozens of houses were also damaged in Alabama and Tennessee two days after storms killed 13 people in the Midwest and South.

No fatalities had been reported in the latest round of storms that were expected to threaten tornadoes late into Friday.

Thousands of schoolchildren in several states were sent home as a precaution, and several Kentucky universities were closed. The Huntsville, Ala., mayor said students in area schools sheltered in hallways as severe weather passed in the morning.

At least 20 homes were badly damaged in the Chattanooga, Tenn., area after strong winds and hail lashed the area. To the east in Cleveland, Blaine Lawson and his wife Billie were watching the weather when the power went out and winds ripped the roof off their home. Neither were hurt.

Keith Huke walked past what remained of his tornado-ravaged home Friday in Harrisburg, Iill. Mr. Huke remained in the bed behind him and then escaped without any injuries as the tornado ripped the house apart.

“It just hit all at once,” the 76-year-old Mr. Lawson said. “Didn’t have no warning really. The roof, insulation and everything started coming down on us. It just happened so fast that I didn’t know what to do. I was going to head to the closet but there was just no way. It just got us.”

In the Huntsville area, 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.

“Most of the children were in schools so they were in the hallways, so it worked out very well,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.

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