Monday, May 5 2014 7:59 AM EDT2014-05-05 11:59:35 GMT
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President Obama declared a major disaster in Alabama, and Lee County along with Jefferson, Baldwin, Limestone and Mobile Counties will be receiving federal funding to increase recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms.More >>
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The National Weather Service survey team is confirming that an EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 120 mph hit Notasulga Thursday evening.
The report is still being compiled, but officials say the tornado touched down at approximately 8:42 p.m. and stayed on the ground for 5.1 miles. The tornado's path was approximately 200 yards wide.
The tornado's strongest point came as it passed near the intersection of Hwy. 14 and Macon County Road 39 where a large home was heavily damaged.
Notasulga law enforcement immediately reported damage of an apparent tornado inside their community, affecting homes and bringing down power lines.
Notasulga straddles the Lee, Macon and Tallapoosa County lines, but Mayor Tommy Miller said all of the damage appeared to be confined to the Macon County portion.
Some residents had to be rescued after being trapped in their homes. For 10 seconds, James Brooks held on to his kitchen stove after he couldn't make it to the safe place with his wife and three children.
"I saw out the corner of my eye, these French doors on the back of the house and it just blew one of them off. And I just saw it take off," Brooks said. "And at the same time,sheet rock was falling in the house and of this stuff around us. I had nowhere to go. I couldn't make it to them, so I just laid down in the kitchen and hoped it didn't get me."
An elderly couple also had to be rescued. They were transported to an area hospital and treated for shock, according to Police Chief Buddy Baker.
Despite the damage and rescues, there did not appear to be any injuries.