FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) — A storm Monday afternoon caused widespread damage in Fort Payne. The hardest hit area appeared to be near Fort Payne High School.
A team from the National Weather Service office in Huntsville will conduct a storm survey today to determine if the damage was caused by a tornado, and learn more about the storm’s track.
The Heil manufacturing plant sits across the road from the high school. The building has considerable roof damage, much of which is now in the parking lot and wrapped around nearby utility poles.
“When we heard the warnings we got all of our team members in our shelters,” said John Kalson, Heil’s director of operations. “We waited for the warning to expire and the winds hit.”
Heil was also hit by a tornado in 1983. That storm lead to the company installing storm shelters for the employees.
“Since the facility was hit some years back and as we did our expansion, one of the things we wanted to make sure we had everything necessary just in case,” Kalson said.”
The damage to the high school is minor. Many fences were blown down. Schools will be delayed in Fort Payne until 11am on Tuesday.
Fort Payne Police tell WHNT News 19 that there were no reports of injuries from the storm.