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December 26th, 2012
07:15 AM ET

Tornado rips through Mobile, Alabama; Mobile Fire-Rescue Dept's PIO Steve Huffman: 'everybody was prepared'

An unwelcome visitor tore through Alabama this Christmas when a dangerous tornado hit downtown Mobile. It knocked out power for nearly 26,000 people as well as the local hospital. Several buildings, including a high school and almost two dozen homes, and a local church were also damaged by the tornado. The church is still standing, but Steve Huffman, the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department's Public Information Officer, joins “Early Start” over the phone with the latest on the reports of damage.

Huffman says public works crews and Alabama power crews have been working through the night to repair the damage and restore power, respectively, in the affected areas. Residents, meanwhile, were told to expect severe weather, including tornadoes, and were unharmed. “I think everybody was prepared for that,” Huffman says.

Just last week, a tornado came through the same area. “We rarely have tornadoes in the city itself, and to have two within a five day period is pretty unusual,” he adds. Huffman says temperatures have since cooled down and the wind is blowing hard outside, “but we can live with that.”

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