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Woman in mobile home killed by falling tree as storms cross Alabama


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — At least one person was killed and tens of thousands of Alabama Power customers were without service Monday night after a severe storm crossed Alabama, toppling trees and powerlines.

Shirley Hicks, 75, died Monday night when she was crushed by a large tree that fell on her mobile home in Burnwell, said Walker County Coroner J.C. Poe.

Poe said Hicks' husband was also in the mobile home about 25 miles northwest of Birmingham and was taken to a local hospital by relatives. Details on his condition weren't immediately available. Walker County EMA officials said downed trees and power lines had been reported throughout the county.

National Weather Service forecasters on Monday warned of a storm system moving in from Mississippi that would bring the threat of tornadoes and winds of up to 70 mph in some areas. Forecasters warned that the risk of tornadoes was higher in western Alabama.

The National Weather Service issued tornado watches, severe thunderstorm watches and flash flood watches that spanned most of the state Monday night. The storms were expected to continue heading east Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Alabama Power tweeted that the storms left roughly 38,000 customers without service, including about 19,000 in the metro Birmingham area.

Heavy overnight rain had already led to flooding in some northern Alabama towns on Monday morning. The weather prompted several county school districts to cancel classes and afterschool activities Monday and plan for delayed start times on Tuesday.

In Cherokee, authorities said police officers were barricading a street in the downtown area. The emergency manager told National Weather Service officials shortly early Monday morning that water was up to 8 inches deep in the street and rising rapidly.

In Cullman County, authorities blocked a county road just north of Cullman, near Lake George, due to flash flooding.

Deputy Director of the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency Tim Greer told the Times-Daily of Florence that officials were repairing three outdoor weather sirens in the Rogersville area and that they were expected to be functional by Monday afternoon.

Rogersville Police Chief Terry Holden said officers would travel through areas near the sirens and alert the public if an emergency happens before the sirens are repaired.

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