Mobile home "cut in half" during apparent tornado, four people dead

Two trees fell on a mobile home killing four people inside. Photo from January 2, 2017.
Two trees fell on a mobile home killing four people inside. Photo from January 2, 2017.(WTVY News 4)
Published: Jan. 3, 2017 at 12:37 AM CST
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Four people died Monday night when two trees toppled onto a house in southern Houston County during an apparent tornado. Three others in the home escaped without injury.

“It is a very dangerous scene. One of the trees cut the trailer in half,” said Houston County Emergency Management Director Chris Judah. He said those killed had huddled in one area of the mobile home while the other three were in another part.

Alabama State Representative Paul Lee was ferried to the home where the deaths occurred. “The damage is hard to describe. It’s a tragedy,” he said. Lee thanked first responders for their efforts.

The four victim's names have been confirmed by the Houston County Coroner. They are Ramona McShell Lewis, Amanda Blair, Carla Lambert, and Terina Brookshire.

Judah said there were other reports of trees on other homes but nobody was injured in those incidents. Some were left without electricity but crews began restoring service when the severe line of storms passed.

As of midnight, 2750 Wiregrass Electric Coop were without power, mostly in Houston County.

The tornado left a swath of damage from Geneva County to Cottonwood. Rehobeth, where the deaths occurred, suffered. Schools there will be closed Tuesday while other Houston County schools will begin at 9:00. Geneva County schools will begin classes one hour later than usual.

Meanwhile, the Houston County Emergency Management Agency warned people to stay off roadways until at least daylight due to downed trees, limbs, and standing water.