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Last updated 10:11AM ET
April 17, 2021
APR News Reports
APR News Reports
Prattville Slammed By Apparent Tornado
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - More than a dozen tornado warnings were issued across Alabama Sunday (2/17) as a powerful storm system swept through. The city of Prattville took a direct hit. Alabama Public Radio's Brett Tannehill reports ...

At 3-08 yesterday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency in Elmore, Autauga and Montgomery counties. About seven minutes later, the city of Prattville's main retail area was struck. Roofs were peeled off, windows shattered and shoppers ran for cover. Mayor Jim Byard says about 45 businesses were damaged or destroyed.

BYARD-We have two shopping centers that were hit. The shopping center were KMart is and where WalMart is were hit. There were cars flipped and of course we had to get folks from those shopping centers to their homes. There is still a tremendous amount of destruction out there, but we're working to get our citizens lives put back together.-22 sec.

Angel Montanez with the National Weather Service says the tornadic outbreak was significant across Alabama. But he says it appears Prattville took the worst of it.

MONTANEZ-We're fairly certain it was a tornado go through the area. It was a very long track tornado. Right now we're in the process of piecing it all together and study the damage-

Elsewhere in Prattville, high winds destroyed at least 20 homes and damaged more than 170 others. In Dallas County, several homes and buildings were destroyed in the Summerfield community. A handful of other communities also saw trees and power lines downed amid other scattered damage. There have been no reported fatalities.
Autauga County emergency management spokesperson Yasamee Richardson says she thinks people were prepared for yesterday's weather.

RICHARDSON-You know a lot of times we talk about preparedness and being prepared, but I think people are really starting to take it more serious just because we see what happened last week in North Alabama and devastation from almost a year ago in Enterprise. So we know when they say something could happen in your area to really be careful and cautious, and I think that is really sticking out in people's minds.

Assessment teams are on the ground today to determine the size and strength of the storms, and to evaluate the amount of damage they caused. And by the way, this week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Alabama.

For APR News, I'm Brett Tannehill

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