Tornado tears through Alabama town, destroying homes and trapping residents

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A tornado roared through the central Alabama town of Wetumpka on January 19, destroying several homes and leaving families trapped in their basements.

Posted: Jan 20, 2019 11:20 AM
Updated: Jan 20, 2019 11:20 AM

A tornado roared through central Alabama on Saturday, destroying several homes and leaving families trapped in their basements.

The National Weather Service confirmed Saturday afternoon that a tornado touched down in the town of Wetumpka in Elmore County -- about 12 miles north of Montgomery.

At least seven homes, the police department and a Presbyterian church that is more than 100 years old were destroyed when the tornado made its way through the town, said Lt. Phillip Hethcox with the Wetumpka Fire Department.

The daycare area of a Baptist church was heavily damaged, he said.

Several people had to be rescued from their basements and shelters following the tornado and were treated for minor injuries.

"Amazing that no one got hurt," Hethcox said.

Many people were able to take shelter when a warning siren went off before the tornado hit, Hethcox explained.

Most of the town, including the downtown area, was still without power late Saturday.

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