BIRMINGHAM (TAB) — Much of central and north Alabama was under a tornado watch and severe thunderstorm warning Feb. 20. The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of up to 43 miles per hour at the Birmingham airport and about 32,000 people in the metro area lost power during the night. There were multiple reports of downed trees and damaged roofs throughout the area as well and statewide about 73,000 people lost power. In Fort Payne, a storm hit around 12:30 a.m. Feb. 21 causing damage to homes and businesses. It is unclear whether it was a tornado or straight-line winds that caused the damage. Mel Johnson, disaster relief strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, said he had been in touch with DeKalb Baptist Association Disaster Relief (DR) leadership. “Assessment in the north Fort Payne area and surrounding communities has been underway since daylight. Currently there are no reported needs to involve DR units,” Johnson said.
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